Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal has claimed that three and a half years have gone by and the economic situation is getting messier by the day, according to Indian Express report. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sibal said, “Let us await what New India has in store for us since the PM no longer talks of achhe din.” Sibal’s attack on the BJP-led NDA government came after former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha slammed Arun Jaitley and ruling dispensation at the Centre over alleged economic slowdown.
Here are key takeaways from Kapil Sibal’s interview
Growth indicators have been declining constantly: Sibal said that in the April-June quarter, growth plummeted to a dismal 5.7 per cent. In all likelihood, growth for fiscal 2017-18 will be below 7 per cent. He also warned that this will adversely impact budgetary allocation. “We cannot expect increased allocations in education, health, agriculture, rural development, transportation, women and child welfare when the finance minister presents his next budget. Reduced allocations in MGNREGA will further hurt the poor, after having been made victims of ill thought out, knee-jerk economic decisions of this government,” he was quoted as saying by IE.
Demonetisation and GST: Sibal has criticised government over PM Modi’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes last year and “ill-timed imposition of a flawed Goods and Services Tax (GST)”. “This has had a lethal effect on the informal sector. MSMEs are ill prepared for compliance issues. Glitches in the GSTN network have further hurt businesses. Those surviving on job work have lost out,” Sibal said.
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Farmer suicides: Sibal said that around 12,000 farmers had committed suicide in 2015 alone. “Nearly 70 per cent of those occupied in agriculture have holdings of 1 hectare and less, not enough to sustain families. Most are marginal farmers entirely dependent on the vagaries of the weather,” he said.
Apart from these, Sibal claimed the telecom sector is undergoing consolidation and the real estate segment was in a mess. He also said that bank Non Performing Assets (NPAs) have risen to Rs 8,80,000 crore. “Government has no surplus funds to bail them out. There are no easy solutions,” he said.