- Demonetisation will lead to a minimum of 2% decline in GDP.
- It is a "monumental mismanagement".
- Advised PM Modi to come up with some constructive proposal to implement the scheme.
Demonetisation has hijacked this winter session of Parliament, and almost every member is pretty much vocal about voicing out their concerned and opinions. Almost all the opposition parties have ganged up against the ruling government or to be very specific PM Narendra Modi and have criticised all the recent government moves including and related to demonetisation.
All the speeches made by different members of Parliament almost sounded similar unless former PM Manmohan Singh stood up and spoke for about 10 minutes at the Rajya Sabha. His statement though comparatively short but was more impactful since he spoke as an economist and not just as a politician from the opposition party.
His speech was an analytically measured one with words like "organised loot, "legalised plunder" and "monumental mismanagement" surely make sense and apt to describe the current situation.
Manmohan Singh, categorically, mentioned that demonetisation will lead to a minimum of 2% decline in GDP which will hit the small industries, agriculture and other informal sectors. As per a report in FirstPost, expert economists have also backed his prediction of GDP slowdown.
He opened his speech appreciating and supporting the government's intention behind demonetisation. However, he said it is the implementation that is to be criticised.
By addressing the uncertainty that looms over demonetisation, the economic scholar said, " I say so with all responsibilities, that we do not know what will be the final outcome." A statement that even the ruling party or PM Modi can not deny.
Rather than directly attacking the ruling government intention or pointing out how the central government might be hurt, Manmohan Singh said that the distress caused by the move "can weaken and erode our people’s confidence in the currency system and in the banking system."
Singh also said whether PM Modi can name a country where people were asked to deposit their money but prevented from withdrawing and said, "This alone is enough to condemn what has been done in the name of growth".
He advised PM Modi to come up with some constructive proposal to implement the scheme and also find practical, pragmatic ways and means to extend relief to the distress population of India.
This impactful speech from an economist point of view also found support from BJP ally Shiv Sena who stated that PM should take Manmohan Singh's words seriously since he is a veteran economist in India.
As PM Modi's demonetisation argument centres around supposed support from the population in India, the latest evidence being the survey through 'Modi App', this speech focusing on the long-term impact on Indian economy makes a good case against demonetisation.
Also, Manmohan Singh's speech might give a better directed to opposition's argument against this drastic economic move making it a game changer to the ruling government.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:35 PM IST