NEW DELHI: Former PM Manmohan Singh shared his perspective on the current state of Indian economy during the launch of "Backstage”---a book authored by former planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
“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,” he said during the event.
The former PM also called for expenditure that could boost infrastructure, health, education, defence sectors in the country.
He also said that a $5 trillion economy was wishful thinking, and asked the government to rethink fiscal policy along with carrying out bold tax to achieve an annual gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent.
“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, according to media reports.
In October last year, the former PM had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for the current economic slowdown and rural distress. He had said that merely “passing the buck to Congress would not work”. “The present government should have learned and provided credible solutions to resolve the problems confronting the Indian economy. Five-and-half years is sufficient time to solve issues. Passing the buck to the Congress for India’s problems does not work,” Singh said in a stern admonition to the government. He said that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi “talks about a lot of things, that two crore jobs will be provided, etc”, but exactly the opposite is happening. “Now, people are losing jobs. The government believes in headline management and not taking concrete steps to resolve the problems,” Singh said sharply.