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NDA cannot keep blaming Opposition, should have found solutions in five and a half years: Manmohan Singh

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 17, 2019 Published on October 17, 2019

Former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh addressing a meeting 'Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy' organised by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee in Mumbai.   -  Paul Noronha

Hopes RBI and govt can bring relief to PMC Bank customers

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the BJP led government should have worked out credible solutions for the economy in the last five years instead of blaming the previous UPA government.

Speaking a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that Indian public sector banks had the worst phase under Singh and then Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, the former PM said the current government is obsessed with fixing the blame on the Opposition.

“Before one fixes the economy, one needs a correct diagnosis of ailments and causes,” he said, adding that the government has been unable to find solutions.

Singh was in Mumbai ahead of the Maharashtra State assembly elections and addressed a session on “Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy” by the State Congress.

Responding to another question on the issue, Singh said there were “weaknesses” when he the Prime Minister and there was a Congress Finance Minister. “But this government has been in office for five and a half years. They should have learnt from our mistakes and provided credible solutions,”he said, while noting issues like the fraud by Nirav Modi and challenges of bad loans.

“They can’t keep claiming the fault lies with the UPA...this may score some debating points but are not solving solutions,”he said.

PMC Bank issue

Manmohan Singh, who also interacted with depositors of fraud hit Punjab and Maharasthra Cooperative Bank said it has been an unfortunate incident and hoped that the RBI, the Centre and the Government of Maharashtra would work to help the 16 lakh affected people.

He also hoped that the issue will be taken up by Parliament when it meets for the Winter Session from the middle of November.

“I am hopeful some concrete measures can be taken to secure justice,”he said adding that the PM’s National Relief Fund should be utilised to help kidney patients who are customers of PMC Bank.

Economic management

The former PM also took on the government over the economy and said it is interested more in headline management and not in concrete solutions.

Commenting on the objective of a $5 trillion economy by 2024, Singh said it would require a growth rate of 10 per cent to 12 per cent per annum.

“Under the BJP regime, the government is faced with declining rate of growth year after year...I don’t think there is any hope of the economy reaching $ 5 trillion,”he said.

He further said that this is true for all goals of the government such as doubling farmers’’ income and creating two crore jobs.

Singh said that he support measures to lower corporate taxes but the problem is shortage of demand. A better route would have been to lower indirect tax to provide relief to poor, he noted.

He also blamed the government for deterioration in the economy climate of the country and said that Mumbai and Maharashtra have faced the worst effects of the grave economic slowdown.

Published on October 17, 2019
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