National

Government’s complacency is the most dangerous thing: Manmohan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 12, 2019 Published on September 12, 2019

former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh   -  BL

The country is in the midst of a dangerously protracted slowdown, warned former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. Addressing a meeting of Congress general secretaries and other top leaders here, he alleged that it is all the more dangerous that the Centre is complacent enough not to realise that the country is in the midst of a slowdown.

“The country today is in the midst of a dangerously protracted slowdown. This is not a statement made by the Congress alone. Everywhere, if you talk to industrialists and journalists, the common theme is the economy is going from bad to worse,” he said. “The dangerous thing about the present economic situation is that the Centre is complacent enough not to realise that we are in the midst of a protracted economic slowdown.”

He said be it agriculture, real estate or manufacturing, every sector is witnessing a downturn. “If this situation is not reversed, then the worst thing could happen to the employment situation. If income growth slows down month after month, quarter after quarter, then the scope of creating more jobs will seriously be affected,” he added.

Singh reminded the Centre that agriculture is the cornerstone of economic activity. “Sixty per cent of the people work in agriculture and allied activities. Per the latest figures, the growth rate of agriculture is 2.7 per cent, against the previous year’s over 3.5 per cent,” he said. “The real wage rate in the agriculture sector and the rural sector has been static in the last five years of the BJP government.”

Weak rupee

On the real estate sector, he said 4.5 lakh dwelling units are lying vacant across eight metros. “There is no demand for those units. If real estate is affected, construction is affected and employment will also be affected,” he said. “The rupee is getting weaker. But instead of taking advantage of pushing up exports, the exports are sluggish and the the balance of payment is getting worse.” worse,” he added.

Published on September 12, 2019
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