Ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh slammed the economic policies of his successor Narendra Modi, saying the government was not acknowledging that there was a slowdown, and that there was a need to rethink the reform process afresh to deal with the country’s challenges.
“Today we have a government which does not acknowledge that there is a word as slowdown. And I feel this is not good for our economy. If you do not recognise the problems that you face, you are not likely to find credible answers to take corrective actions measures and that is the real danger,” Singh said at the launch of a book authored by former planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
“And therefore, as Montek has also pointed out in his book, the (target of) $5-trillion economy by 2024-25 is wishful thinking. Also, there’s no reason to expect that farmers’ incomes can be doubled in three year period.”
Singh said while an annual gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent was achievable; it required a rethinking about the role of fiscal policy, and bolder tax reforms. “As Montek says (in the book) if you look at the real fiscal picture, the real fiscal deficit of states and Centre combined is as high as 9 per cent and that’s not good for satisfying our ambition of having a dynamic economy, growing at the rate of 8-10 per cent,” Singh said.