India’s economy has gone from bad to worse following the government’s recall of high-value currency but the worst is yet to come, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a Congress party convention in Delhi, Singh – who is also a noted economist – called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims of a robust economy “hollow”.
“The demonetisation move was disastrous. It hurt the country but the worst is yet to come,” he told Congress workers at the Jan Vedna Sammelan.
Singh – who is credited with ushering reforms and turning the course of India’s economy as finance minister in the early 90s – had predicted in November that demonetisation will shave two percentage points off India’s GDP.
He reiterated the claim, saying almost all rating agencies had pared down growth estimates from 7.6% to 7% and as low as 6.3%. “As a consequence, employment in fall in agriculture and informal sector, which contributes 45% to the national income.”
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also reiterated the Opposition’s stance that the move has weakened the Indian economy and “inflicted misery” on millions of people.
Chidambaram said nobody in the world except finance minister Arun Jaitley says that India’s GDP will not be hit due to demonetisation, ANI reported on Wednesday.
Chidambaram was speaking shortly after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi came out all guns blazing at the BJP on Wednesday. Gandhi alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had weakened every institution, such as the Reserve Bank of India, judiciary and the election commission.