Centre does not acknowledge ‘slowdown’, corrective action unlikely: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh

Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre on the condition of economy, former PM Manmohan Singh on Wednesday (February 19) said the current government does not acknowledge the word “slowdown” and it is highly unlikely that the current dispensation will be able to take corrective action to boost the Indian economy.

“I think these issues will be debated and should be debated because we have today a government that does not acknowledge that there is such a word as slowdown. I think this is not good for our country,” the former prime minister said, adding, “If you do not recognise the problems that you face, you are not likely to find credible answers to take corrective action. That is the real danger.”

The former prime minister made the statement while addressing a gathering at the launch of Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s book “Backstage”. Talking about the book, Manmohan Singh said that the former planning commission deputy chairman has mentioned both the good as well as the weak points of the Congress-led UPA government, which was in power from 2004-2014. The former PM noted that Ahluwalia’s book will be of great help to the future growth of the country.

“Montek has also pointed out that contrary to what the ruling group may say, today the $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 is wishful thinking. Also there is no reason to expect that farmers income will be doubled in a three-year period,” he said.

Singh also praised former prime minister Narasimha Rao, P Chidambaram and Ahluwalia for supporting his idea of liberalisation of the economy in the 1990s and allowing him to usher in major economic reforms despite stiff resistance from opposition and other quarters.