After Jaitley, Modi too concedes growth has declined

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday conceded that the growth in economy had declined following the lowest GDP numbers in three years. This after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had expressed concern on the downward slide in economy.

Narendra Modi

Addressing company secretaries from all over the country, Modi said, “After achieving average growth of 7.5% over 3 years, we accept that growth rates came down April-June but govt is committed to reverse it.”

Modi also acknowledged the anger over the rollout of GST among the business fraternity and promised to look into their grievances. Another notable takeaway from his speech was his confession that he wasn’t an economist but in the same vein he also slammed the economic performance of the previous government headed by a renowned economist, Manmohan Singh.

He said, “I have told the GST council to review the problems being faced by traders & we are willing to make changes as per the suggestions. I assure that the steps being taken by the government will put the country in a new league of development… I will not let the present problems jeopardize the future of the country.”

He, however, mocked his detractors calling them pessimists, who couldn’t have peaceful sleep without spreading an environment of pessimism.

 

“There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of pessimism all around. We need to recognise such people.. Not everything that a critic says is wrong but one should refrain from creating a negative environment in the country,” Modi added.

Modi was referring to the latest GDP numbers that showed that India’s economic growth had slowed down to 5.74%, the lowest in three years. The slump in economy was attributed to Modi’s demonetisation plan and flawed implementation of of GST.

Former Union Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Arun Shourie, on Tuesday had launched a tirade against Narendra Modi while slamming him for his demonetisation announcement.

Dubbing the note ban move as “idiotic jolt” Shourie said that “everyone who had black converted it into white” adding that demonetisation was the largest ‘money-laundering scheme.’

Shourie’s criticism comes just days after veteran BJP leader and his former cabinet colleague, Yashwant Sinha, slammed Modi government for landing the economy into an utter mess.

Writing in the The Indian Express, Sinha, who held the finance portfolio in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, had said that he will be failing in his ‘national duty’ if he did not ‘speak up’ now against the ‘mess the finance minister has made of economy.’

Sinha’s commentary was followed by sharp criticism from former finance minister, P Chidambaram, who asked if the Modi government will finally concede that the economy was sinking.

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday cut its growth forecast to 6.7 percent from its earlier projection of 7.3 percent.

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