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Manmohan Singh; PMC Bank
National Politics

Manmohan Singh provides PM Modi five pointers for boosting economy

New Delhi | Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday gave a 5-step guide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the economy.

He said that it might take a few years for the country to get out of the economic slowdown, given the Centre acted sensibly right.

In interviews to Hindu Business Line and Dainik Bhaskar, Singh said that the slowdown would be “prolonged’ as it was cyclical, as well as structural.

Manmohan Singh also pointed out that Centre was wasting time by not focusing on the economy.

“We cannot deny that India is facing an economic crisis,” Singh said.

“Already, a lot of time has been lost. Instead of wasting its political capital by adopting a sector-wise piecemeal approach, or on monumental blunders like demonetisation, the time has now come for the government to carry out the next generation of structural reforms and promote sectors that can generate mass jobs,” he added.

“The Modi government should come out of the habit of headline management. Already a lot of time is wasted. Instead of making sectoral announcements, efforts should be made now to simultaneously take forward the entire economic framework,” he said suggesting five measures to put the economy on a high growth trajectory.

First, GST should be made “logical” even though this would mean a revenue loss for a brief time.

Second, devise new ways to both, revive the agriculture and boost rural consumption. “The Congress manifesto mentions ‘concrete alternatives’, wherein money could reach in the hands of people by freeing agricultural markets,” he said.

In the third point, the former Finance Minister said that liquidity crisis should be addressed. He said that not only public sector banks but NBFCs were also suffering.

Fourth measure is to revitalise key labour-intensive sectors such as textile, automobile, electronics and affordable housing. Singh also suggested reviving major job-generating sectors such as textile, auto, electronics and subsidised housing.

Singh’s fifth measure pertains to harness emerging export opportunities because of the ongoing tariff war between the United States and China. “We must recognise new exports opportunities emerging because of America-China trade war. Remember, solutions to both cyclic and structural problems are must. Then only, we can get back to the high growth rate in 3-4 years,” he said.

He said that the government is in denial of the current economy, and should first start acknowledging it.

“India is in an extremely serious economic slowdown. The growth rate of 5% in the last quarter is the lowest in the six years. The nominal GDP growth is also at a 15 year low. Many key sectors of the economy have been affected,” he said.

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