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Deceleration Of Economy Began Before Demonetisation, Says Yashwant Sinha Slamming Arun Jaitley

News World India | 2
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| September 27 , 2017 , 12:13 IST

The current slowdown of the economy resulted in severe backlash for the central government, which defended itself by citing 'technical reasons' that are temporary and promising rapid growth.

Apart from Opposition parties slamming the government for the economic slowdown, BJP veteran leader Yashwant Sinha, a former finance minister, has levelled a harsh critique terming the economy a mess made by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

"I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the finance minister has made of the economy," BJP's Yashwant Sinha said in an article written for the Indian Express.

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"I am also convinced that what I am going to say reflects the sentiments of a large number of people in the BJP and elsewhere who are not speaking up out of fear," he added.

"Jaitley was, to begin with, a lucky finance minister, luckier than any in the post-liberalisation era. Depressed global crude oil prices placed at his disposal lakhs of crores of rupees. This unprecedented bonanza was waiting to be used imaginatively. But the oil bonanza has been wasted and the legacy problems have not only been allowed to persist, they have become worse," Sinha wrote.

"Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress, demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster, a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market," he added.

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"For quarter after quarter, the growth rate of the economy has been declining until it reached the low of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal, the lowest in three years. The spokespersons of the government say that demonetisation is not responsible for this deceleration. They are right. The deceleration had started much earlier. Demonetisation only added fuel to fire," Sinha continued.

"Even the SBI, the largest public sector bank of the country, has stated with unusual frankness that the slowdown is not transient or “technical”, it is here to stay and the slowdown in demand has only aggravated the situation. It has openly contradicted what the BJP president said just a few days ago that the slowdown in the last quarter was on account of “technical” reasons and will be corrected soon. According to the SBI chairman, the telecom sector is the latest entrant to the long list of stressed sectors," highlighted Sinha.

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"The finance minister has promised a package to revive growth. We are all waiting with bated breath for this package. It has not come so far. The only new thing is the reconstituted Economic Advisory Council of the prime minister," he said.

"Economies are destroyed more easily than they are built. It took almost four years of painstaking and hard work in the late nineties and early 2000 to revive a sagging economy we had inherited in 1998. Nobody has a magic wand to revive the economy overnight. Steps taken now will take their own time to produce results. So, a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election appears highly unlikely. A hard landing appears inevitable," he concluded.

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's attack on the government comes a day after BJP MP Varun Gandhi levelled an attack on the centre over the treatment of Rohingya refugees.