Former Prime Minister Manohan Singh has said that today was a reminder to everyone in India how ‘economic misadventures’ by the central government taken on 8 November 2016, ‘can roil the nation.’ Writing on the second anniversary of the demonetisation announcement, made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Singh said that the ‘havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone.”
He said, “Today marks the second anniversary of the ill-fated and ill-thought demonetisation exercise that the Narendra Modi government undertook in 2016. The havoc that it unleashed on the Indian economy and society is now evident to everyone. Notebandi impacted every single person, regardless of age, gender, religion, occupation or creed.”
Speaking in the parliament soon after the note ban announcement, Dr Singh, himself an economist of global repute, had warned that the economy will go down by at least two percent as a result of Modi’s announcement. Few months later, the GDP had indeep shrunk by two percent, dealing a body blow to India’s growth story.
He wrote, “Beyond the steep drop in headline GDP growth numbers after demonetisation, the deeper ramifications of notebandi are still unraveling. Small and medium businesses that are the cornerstone of India’s economy are yet to recover from the demonetisation shock. This has had a direct impact on employment as the economy continues to struggle to create enough new jobs for our youth.”
He added, “It is often said that time is a great healer. But, unfortunately, in the case of demonetisation, the scars and wounds of demonetisation are only getting more visible with time.”
He urged the government to not resort to any more ‘unorthodox, short-term economic measures that can cause any more uncertainty in the economy and financial markets.’ He said, “I urge the government to restore certainty and visibility in economic policies. Today is a day to remember how economic misadventures can roil the nation for a long and understand that economic policymaking should be handled with thought and care.”
The Congress has said that it will mark 8 November as the Black Day and take to streets against Modi’s decision, taken two years ago.