Manmohan hits out at govt, calls slowdown 'man-made crisis'

New Delhi (IANS) Days after the Finance Ministry reported contraction in the GDP growth, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday slammed the Narendra Modi government blaming its policies for the economic slowdown in the country.

"India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but the all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown," said Singh, who is also an eminent economist.

Calling the slowdown a "manmade crisis", Singh, in a detailed statement, primarily blamed the Modi government's decision of demonetisation and a "hastily implemented GST" for the current state of economy.

The Congress shared Singh's statement on its official Twitter handle indicating that it was the party's position as well. With senior party leader and former Finance minister P. Chidambaram in CBI custody, Manmohan Singh is the only credible face the Congress has to speak on the economy.

The Congress leader said more than 3.5 lakh jobs had been lost in the automobile sector alone and he claimed similar large-scale job losses in the informal sector.

"Domestic demand is depressed and consumption growth is at an 18-month low. Nominal GDP growth is at a 15-year low. There is a gaping hole in tax revenues. Tax buoyancy remains elusive as businessmen, small and big, are hounded and tax terrorism continues unabated. Investor sentiments are in the doldrums. These are not the foundations for economic recovery," he said. 

Highlighting the rural distress, Singh said: "Farmers are not receiving adequate prices and rural incomes have declined. The low inflation rate that the Modi government likes to showcase comes at the cost of our farmers and their incomes, by inflicting misery on over 50 per cent of India's population."

Citing RBI's transfer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, the former PM also accused the latter of attacking the autonomy of institutions. 

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