Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Friday said that India’s economic condition is “deeply worrying” and that the latest GDP figures released by the government are clearly “unacceptable”.
“GDP figures released today are as low as 4.5 per cent. This is clearly unacceptable. Aspiration of our country is to grow at 8-9 per cent. The sharp decline of GDP from 5 per cent in Q1 to 4.5 per cent in Q2 is worrisome. Mere changes in economic policies will not help revive the economy,” the veteran Congress leader was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Singh was speaking at the National Economy Conclave in New Delhi.
The remarks by the former prime minister come just after data released by National Statistical Office (NSO) Friday showed that India’s GDP growth slipped to a 26-quarter low of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal.
‘State of our society worrisome’
Singh also said that the state of the economy is worrying but the state of our society is “even more worrisome”, adding that there exists a “palpable climate of fear” in our society.
“Many industrialists tell me they live in fear of harassment by government authorities. Bankers are reluctant to make new loans, for fear of retribution. Entrepreneurs are hesitant to put up fresh projects, for fear of failure attributed to ulterior motives,” Singh said.
“Policymakers in government and other institutions are scared to speak the truth or engage in intellectually honest policy discussions. There is a profound fear and distrust among our various economic participants,” he added.
Singh also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “set aside his deep-rooted suspicion of our society” and help the economy.
“I urge the Prime Minister to set aside his deep-rooted suspicion of our society and nurse us back to a harmonious, confident and mutually trustworthy society that can revive the animal spirits and help our economy soar,” Singh said while ending his speech.
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