If the economy fails to come on track soon, coming months will not be easy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. Even as the Union government continues to claim there is nothing very serious to be worried about the state of Indian economy at present and they are taking all the right steps to keep it in good health, some saffron camp insiders have differed with official stand of the Centre. These include some prominent names like former Union Finance Minister and MP Yashwant Sinha, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy and RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy.
Swamy recently told a TV Channel that economy is heading for depression and it may “crash” if steps are not taken soon to revive it. “Today, the economy is in a tailspin. Yes, it can crash. We need to do a lot of good things to revive the economy. Even a tailspin can be made to steady. If nothing is done, we are heading for a major depression. There will be mass scale… banks might collapse, factories might start closing,” Swamy told CNN-News18. The BJP MP also revealed that he had written a 16-page letter to PM Modi in May 2016, warning the latter about the state of the economy.
Swamy further claimed that India’s GDP rate was much lower than it was being shown. “It is lower than what is being told to you, and it is going to decline,” he said.
A week after Swamy, RSS ideologue and economic commentator, S Gurumurthy also flagged similar concerns on the economy. While speaking on ‘Demonetisation -Its role, Impact and Follow-up’ at an event in Chennai, Gurumurthy said Indian economy is hitting the bottom now. Thehindu.com reported him as saying, “I have a feeling we are hitting the bottom now. There is no way this situation can continue.”
Pointing out measures like demonetisation, NPA rules, GST, bankruptcy law, fight against black money, Gurumurthy said there were “too many disruptions, too soon.” On Demonetisation, Gurumurthy said though it had many “benefits”, the note ban was “badly implemented”. He also claimed that black money holders escaped the “demonetisation dragnet” because of a communication error between Union Ministry of Finance and a confidential cell.
The RSS ideologue claimed that demonetisation “crippled” the informal sector, resulting in a stagnation in “aggregate consumption” and “generation of jobs”. Incidentally, both Swamy and Gurumurthy had supported the demonetisation decision announced by PM Modi in November last year.
On Wednesday, Sinha attacked current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, holding him responsible for the mess in Indian economy.
Pointing out that economy is on a downward spiral, Sinha wrote in The Indian Express, “Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the workforce, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled.”
“Sector after sector of the economy is in distress, demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster, a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market,” he added.
While predicting that the economy is unlikely to revive before 2019 General Elections, Sinha also taunted Jaitley. “The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters,” Sinha said.