Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the media at MCA lounge, Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai today on the topic 'Words of Wisdom on Indian Economy'. He spoke about the current economic condition and banking system, and said that the BJP government has failed in Maharashtra. He said it will take a long time to fix the economic crisis, but the immediate measure would be to vote for the Congress-NCP in the state.
His address comes as Maharashtra goes to the polls on October 21.
Here are the Highlights from Manmohan Singh's address:
- The BJP has utterly failed... Mumbai and Maharashtra have had to face some of the worst effects of the economic slowdown. Maharashtra has seen the maximum number of factory shutdowns.
- Imports from China have gone up tremendously. I have been told about the gloom in the auto industry.
- In urban areas every third person is jobless. Many people taking up low paying jobs while distress prevailing in urban areas will add to the problem as migration increases.
- Maharashtra used to attract talent from across the nation... sadly that is not the case anymore. The economic scenario of a demographic dividend is suffering. Factories and industries are fast moving out of Maharashtra. Maharashtra is facing nothing short of a crisis.
- Not just industry, the farm sector is under stress too... Farmers are suffering. The government's apathy is impacting the people's aspirations.
- Maharashtra used to be number 1 in attracting investment. Today, it is number 1 in farmer suicides. The Central government's import-export policy is hurting the farmers. Also, water shortage problem will be more if it is not addressed.
- A lot of the problems faced by Maharashtra are man-made... I have no doubt that the problems in Maharashtra would be managed and solved much better under a Congress government.
- I will not like to comment on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement, but I can say one needs to diagnose the economy. The government is obsessed with trying to fix the blame. (His comment comes after Ms Sitharaman said on Wednesday that she holds the Manmohan Singh-Raghuram Rajan combination responsible for subjecting public sector banks to their "worst phase".)
- Unfortunately, the BJP government both at the Centre, as well as in Maharashtra, are unwilling to implement people-friendly measures... The government seems to be busy only trying to fix or plug the gaps, not make holistic changes.
- On Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scandal: I appeal to the chief minister and the Prime Minister to resolve this matter at the earliest. The grievances must be solved. The matter is coming up in the Supreme Court, so it is sub-judice. I don't want to comment much (on the issue). I am appealing to the Maharashtra government, the RBI and the Centre to put the pragmatic hat and solve this at the earliest. I have heard your feedback. I assure you that when the Parliament convenes in mid-November, this issue (PMC bank and such cases) will figure very very prominently.