Modi govt’s $5-trillion economy by FY25 aim a wishful thinking: Manmohan Singh

By: |
Published: February 20, 2020 6:30:36 AM

Economic growth is expected to hit a seven-year low of 5.7% (upon a revised base) in FY20 and the Economic Survey expects growth to pick up to 6-6.5% in the next fiscal.

Narrating a story behind India’s reforms in the early 1990s, Singh, then finance minister, credited then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for backing him. (File image)Narrating a story behind India’s reforms in the early 1990s, Singh, then finance minister, credited then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for backing him. (File image)

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday termed the government’s target to turn India into a $5-trillion economy by FY25 a “wishful thinking” and said it was not even willing to acknowledge the current slowdown.

“Today we have a government which doesn’t acknowledge that there is such a word as slowdown. This is not good for our economy. If you don’t recognise the problems that you face, you are not likely to find credible answers to take corrective action. And that is the real danger,” Singh said. He was speaking at a function to release former Planning Commission vice-chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s book, titled “Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years”.

Economic growth is expected to hit a seven-year low of 5.7% (upon a revised base) in FY20 and the Economic Survey expects growth to pick up to 6-6.5% in the next fiscal. India’s nominal GDP is estimated to touch $2.9 trillion in FY20.

Narrating a story behind India’s reforms in the early 1990s, Singh, then finance minister, credited then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao for backing him. But Singh also had to persuade then President R Venkatraman for his endorsement. As part of the reform process, the plan was to devalue the rupee in two stages. But once the first phase of the devaluation was over, “some people” went to Rao to convince him not to take the second step. So when Rao asked not to proceed, the then finance minister rang up the RBI governor, who concurred with him. “Had it not happened, once again, the story of reforms would have been different,” Singh said.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahluwalia said today’s economy is much more complex than what it was in 1991-92 when India adopted globalisation. So fixing its woes is all the more challenging now, he said, pitching for fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

Ahluwalia also cited the role of successive governments (up to the UPA-II) in carrying forwards reforms initiated by Singh under Rao’s leadership to argue that reform processes can’t be abandoned once the term of a particular government gets over; instead it must continue irrespective of the political affiliation of a dispensation.

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Next Stories
1Big GST fraud unearthed in Delhi! Fake invoices worth Rs 214 crore detected
2Indo-US trade deal not ‘stuck’; Govt sources in India: Donald Trump says saving ‘big deal’ for later
3Rajasthan Assembly passes GST Amendment Bill