Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the impact of demonetisation was being felt across the country but the worst was yet to come. “Demonetisation has hurt the country. Things have gone from bad to worse, but the worse is yet to come.”
“I’ve said it before in Parliament… demonetisation will have an impact on the economy. Some rating agencies have said the GDP could slow down to 6.6 per cent,” the former prime minister said in his brief address. “Modi ji keeps saying he’s out to transform the economy. We now know the beginning of the end has come. His claims are hollow.”
Dr Singh was speaking at the Jan Vedna Sammelan called by the Congress to highlight the “disastrous impact” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move has had on the people. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former finance minister P Chidambaram and other senior party leaders addressed the session at Talkatora Stadium in the national capital.
Earlier in the day, Rahul said, “Demonetisation is just an excuse. PM Modi knows that he won’t be able to hide in the garb of Yoga and Make in India. When he got worried, he broke the backbone of the Indian economy (through demonetisation),” said Gandhi. “Almost every economist of repute has rebuked demonetisation.”
“2.5 saal pehle Modi ji aaye kaha Hindustan ko saaf kardunga, sabko jhaadu pakdaya. Fashion tha, 3-4 din chala phir bhool gaye (Two-and-a-half years ago, Modi government had said they will clean India. They gave brooms to everyone. It used to be fashionable. It continued for some time, then they forgot about it),” said the Congress leader in reference to the government’s flagship Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.
Chidambaram too strongly criticised the note ban saying it would affect the GDP adversely. He also questioned who would compensate those who have lost their lives and livelihoods due to the Modi government’s decision. “I demand that the government pay compensation to the daily wage workers who lost their livelihoods,” he said, adding that 45 crore people lost their livelihood for 70 days “due to one man’s decision.”