Economy not in good shape: Manmohan

Economy not in good shape: Manmohan
Ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget, the Congress on Monday painted a grim picture of the economy, questioning the sense of optimism sought to be presented by the Centre. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh released a 78-page document titled ‘The Real State of the Economy – 2017’ which claimed that the economy was “not in a good shape”.

“The IMF has projected that the growth rate of India this current fiscal year will not be 7.6% but 6.6%. Several other agencies have made similar projections,” he said, adding that the “economy not being in good shape was obvious”.  Former finance minister P Chidambaram questioned the Modi government on ‘loss of jobs’ and investments, in his party’s view, being reduced to a trickle.

“They are hiding behind the dazzle of an important number – the GDP. But people are not dazzled by numbers,” Chidambaram said. Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda, who put together the RSE report, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised creation of two crore jobs every year, but in reality only 1.5 lakh jobs were created in 2016.

The Congress claimed that new investment proposals have reduced to a trickle post-demonetisation and the quarter ending December 2016 saw only 404 such projects. “The number of new projects had dropped to below 500 for the first time in a decade during the previous quarter (September 2016). The fall to close to just over 400 projects is a very sharp fall to a new low,” the RSE document said.

Gowda, who heads the AICC Research and Coordination Commitee, said even Modi's pet initiative 'Start-up India' has come a cropper as many start-up companies have closed shop. Chidambaram said the document released by the Congress was “closer to the truth” than what the Modi government would claim in the Economic Survey that is set to be presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

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