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DeMo an organised loot

DeMo an organised loot
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Slamming the Narendra Modi-led Central government’s ‘twin blow’ to the economy delivered through demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST),...

New Delhi: Slamming the Narendra Modi-led Central government’s ‘twin blow’ to the economy delivered through demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said both the initiatives are a complete disaster for the economy and broke the backbone of small businesses.

Referring to demonetisation in his address to a gathering of businessmen in Ahmedabad, Singh said: “Tomorrow we mark one year since the disastrous policy was thrust on the people of our country.” He said the government has not made a fresh assessment of costs and benefits, if any, of the move. The former prime minister termed November 8 as a ‘black day’ for the Indian economy and democracy. “I repeat what I said in Parliament, this was organised loot and legalised plunder,” he said. He also said it was due to demonetisation that Indians had to go for Chinese imports.

Comparing the escalating rise in India’s imports from China, Singh said the country’s import in first half of 2016-17 stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore, whereas in 2017-18 it increased to Rs 2.41 lakh crore. The Congress leader also cited both demonetisation and GST as the main cause behind the
unprecedented growth of imports, which rose by 23 per cent in a year.

Singh also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile bullet train project. “Bullet train, launched with much fanfare, is an exercise in vanity. Did PM consider the alternative of the high-speed train by upgrading broad gauge railway?” he questioned.

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