After GDP figures, PM targets Manmohan Singh, other economists

After GDP figures, PM targets Manmohan Singh, other economists

After GDP figures, PM targets Manmohan Singh, other economists
 Armed with the latest GDP figures, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today mocked the economists and made a veiled attack on his predecessor Manmohan Singh, saying "hard work" proved to be more powerful than "Harvard".

"One year ago, our opposition used to say that our economy is going down with no development and GDP numbers are not going up," he said addressing an election rally here.
But after demonetisation was announced on November 8 last year, "they (opposition) said 'Modiji, we don't understand why you took the demonetisation decision when the economy was doing well'," the Prime Minister said.

Targeting the opposition, he said, "Chit bhi meri, pat bhi meri (Both head and tail of the coin are mine)...First, they said there was no economic development. Then, when the notes (of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination) were banned, they (opposition) said the economy was running smoothly and you have applied the break on it."

While attacking the opponents of demonetisation, including the economists, Modi appeared to target Mahmohan Singh who had said that the decision will lead to a drop of at least 2 per cent in GDP.

"Big scholars, some from Harvard, some from Oxford.. For 30 years, they were in the key economic decision-making position, big economists, some said there will be a drop of 2 per cent in the GDP, others said 4 per cent drop," the Prime Minister said.

"But the country has seen what the people from Harvard think and what hard working people think. On one side, there is a crowd of scholars who speak in the name of Harvard and on the other side, there is the son of a poor mother, who is trying to transform the economy though his hard work," he said.

"In fact, hard work is much more powerful than Harvard," he said, taking a dig at the opponents.

His remark came against the backdrop of Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen terming demonetisation as a "despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust".

The government had yesterday pegged GDP growth at a higher-than-expected 7.1 per cent for 2016-17 despite the cash blues, which was higher than China's 6.8 per cent for Oct-Dec period of 2016, making India retain the tag of the world's fastest growing economy.

Paris-based think tank OECD also forecast 7 per cent growth for India for 2016-17 and said the pace will accelerate to 7.3 per cent in the next fiscal.