Manmohan doesn't see economic recovery soon

In a hard-hitting speech against the Narendra Modi government, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the three-and-a-half year rule has ruined all sectors and also created a wedge in the secular credentials of India.

He also questioned the political agenda of the CPI-M in Kerala. Singh was delivering a speech at the Congress party-organised public meeting here on Friday night on the occasion of the state-wide yatra led by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala protesting against the “anti-people policies” of both the Centre and state government. “The demonetisation drive was a historic blunder and the outcome has been fresh trouble and hardship for the people. Then came the hasty implementation of the GST, and the result is today there is a slowdown of the economy and GDP has fallen from 7.2 per cent in 2015-16 to 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal. I don’t see any immediate recovery of the economy in sight,” said Singh. Singh heaped praise on the commitment of his predecessors Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, “who worked for the country and took it to the forefront in all areas including becoming the biggest producer of food grains and also the progress made in the field’s of atomic energy and the space programme”. “I as the Prime Minister from 2004 to 2014 also made humble contributions and saw the economy growing at 7.8 per cent. When the Congress ruled the country religions harmony was there as we kept our country’s tradition of allowing people of various faith living together and we never imposed a ban on what dress people should wear and what people should eat. But, in the three-and- half years of Modi governance, attempts are made to hurt the secular and democratic fabric of our country. The Congress will fight resolutely these divisive forces,” added Singh. Singh also came down heavily on the Pinarayi Vijayan-led CPI-M government in Kerala and pointed out that even though one year is a short period to make a comment on the performance of the government, “I understand that the rule of law has crumbled and women are not safe and economic progress is also slow”. “But I have a question to the CPI-M and Left parties. At the national level are we going to oppose BJP as a united front or whether the CPI-M will keep the BJP and the Congress at the same distance? If they are sincere in the fight against the BJP and its anti-people policies, they have to cooperate with the leadership of Congress at the national level and fight together against the BJP’s misrule and divisive policies,” said Singh. The yatra of Chennithala concludes in the state capital on December 1 and on that day AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be addressing the public meeting. (IANS) // ]]>

Economy, Moody's upgrades, Manmohan downgrades, Jaitley elated

Moody’s has expressed confidence in in the continued progress on economic and institutional reforms over time and sees that this will enhance India’s growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt. Moreover it predicts that this will lead to a gradual decline in Government debt burden over the medium term. Although India’s high debt burden remains a constraint on the country’s credit profile, Moody’s believes that the reforms put in place have reduced the risk of a sharp increase in debt, even in potential downside scenarios. Moody’s has also raised India’s long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Baa1 from Baa2, and the long-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling to Baa2 from Baa3. While critics have taken the Mody government to task for the GST, demonetisation and Aadhaar card controversy rages on, Moody sees these as positive structural reforms that will reduce informality in the economy. Moody’s website acknowledges that demonetisation and GST have undermined growth in the near term through disruption but sees these measures to be beneficial in the longer term. Moody’s even predicts that GDP growth will increase in Fiscal year to 7.8 in Fiscal year 2018 and will continue to grow robustly 2019 onwards. It sees reforms to continue to strengthen India’s institutional framework and is encouraged by Government efforts to reduce corruption, fomalise economic activity and improve tax collection. Congress, however continues to dampen this news, pointing to the immediate impacts of the policies. Its spokesperson said that both Modi and Moody’s had “failed to gauge the mood of the nation”. “After destroying India’s economy, the Modi government was clutching at straws to claim los‘ credibility. Modiji and Moody’s ‘Jodi’ have failed,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted. [caption id="attachment_21933" align="alignleft" width="236"] Jaitley looking happy[/caption] Jaitley meanwhile was jubilant, having come under constant attack from the media for the policies. He felt vindicated saying, “It is extremely encouraging that there is an international recognition… This is not something that is happening in isolation.” Jaitley told reporters: “It is a belated recognition of all the positive steps taken in the last few years. It is a recognition and an endorsement of the process that India has undergone in the last three-four years where a number of structural reforms have placed India on a higher growth trajectory.” He said the government had shown fiscal prudence through a series of steps in the last few years like demonetisation, introduction of Aadhaar, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, recapitalisation of public sector banks and smooth transition to the GST that have led to better economic situation. Jaitely said: “Smooth transition of GST is universally recognised as a landmark reform in Indian tax structure. All these steps which constituted major reforms are directional in nature. All steps taken in the last few years had a roadmap. “For three years we were doing a lot of structural reforms. Even we have moved up 30 places in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. Now after a long spell of 13 years, India gets rating upgradation,” he added. The minister said that with the introduction of GST, market barriers had been removed. Also, demonetisation had made the country less cash currency oriented and made it more digitised. “Our track record for the last three years speaks for itself and we intend to move on that. We will maintain fiscal prudence,” Jaitley said. In a hard hitting speech at Kochi, Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister, attacked Mody Government, saying that the three-and-a-half year rule has ruined all sectors and also created a wedge in the secular credentials of India. His speech turned to erosion of secularism. The Business community however was happy with Moody’s upgrading and satisfied with Jaitley. (with IANS) // ]]>