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Demonetisation- Black Day, GST- Nightmare, Bullet Train- An exercie in vanity: Manmohan Singh attacks BJP govt

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 07, Nov 2017, 15:07 pm IST | UPDATED: 07, Nov 2017, 15:30 pm IST

Demonetisation- Black Day, GST- Nightmare, Bullet Train- An exercie in vanity: Manmohan Singh attacks BJP govt Ahmedabad: On the eve of the first anniversary of demonetisation on Tuesday, former prime minister Manmohan Singh Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government over its big ticket economic policies — note ban and GST and bullet train among other issues. Singh was speaking at an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businesspersons and traders in poll-bound Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

Demonetisation: ‘Black Day’

Calling November 8 as the “black day” of the Indian economy and democracy, Singh said, “Nowhere in the world has any nation taken such a drastic step that sweeped off 86% of the currency. I repeat what I said in Parliament, this was organised loot and legalized plunder.” Taking a jibe at PM Modi’s cashless India endevour, he said that coercieve steps like demonetisation have turned out to be ineffective. He also said the note-ban exercise was a disastorous policy as none its objectives were achieved.

GST: ‘Nightmare small and medium-sized businesses’

Referring to Goods and Service Tax and demonetisation as a “twin blow” on the economy, Singh added the policies have broken the back of small businesses in the country. “When undertaking endeavour of one nation one tax if PM Modi had taken inspiration from resolve of great Sardar Patel, the outcome would have been different,” he said. He also added the compliance requirements under GST have become a nightmare for small and medium-sized businesses.

Bullet Train: ‘Án exercie in vanity’

Singh also launched a scathing attack against BJP’s ambitious bullet train project and dubbed it as “an exercise in vanity.” He asked if the Prime Minister considered an alternative of the high speed train by making upgrades in the broad gauge railway. He also took a dig at the supporters of the saffron party by saying, “By questioning bullet trains does one become anti-development? Does questioning GST and Demonetisation make one a tax evader?  This attitude of suspecting everyone to be thief or anti-national, low level rhetoric is damaging to democratic discourse.”

China and imports

The former PM said the reforms undertaken by the current government has created a deep-rooted feeling of tax terrorism among businessmen in the country and has instead helped China since the number of imports have surged this year. “In the first half of 2016-17 India’s imports from China stood at Rs 1. 96 Lakh Crore. In 2017-18 it increased to Rs 2.41 Lakh Crore.Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 crore, a 23 per cent increase in a year,can be attributed largely to demonetisation, GST,” he said. “We had to run for Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs.”
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