- Manmohan Singh hit out at the government over the state of the economy
- "All-round mismanagement" by government led to slowdown: Manmohan Singh
- GDP growth stood at the slowest pace since March 2013 quarter
The state of the economy today is deeply worrying, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, adding that "all-round mismanagement" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has resulted in the slowdown. The veteran Congress leader's comments come two days after government data showed that India's economy expanded at its slowest pace in over six years in the quarter ended June 30.
Growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 5 per cent in the first quarter of current financial year (2019-20), compared with 5.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 8.0 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.
"India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis," Dr Manmohan Singh said in a video statement.
"The last quarter's GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown," he said, adding that the country has the potential to grow at a much faster rate.
Dr Manmohan Singh is widely recognised for the economic reforms which he announced in 1991 when he was the Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government.
Sliding for the fifth quarter in a row, economic expansion came in at the slowest pace since the March 2013 quarter, when it had stood at 4.3 per cent. A slowdown in the sale of cars to biscuits and lakhs of estimated job cuts across sectors plagued the economic growth of the country, say analysts.
In its bid to push investments and revive growth, the government has announced a range of measures in the past few days, including easing of FDI or foreign direct investment norms in four sectors, and a reversal of higher taxes on foreign investors as announced in Budget.
On Friday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reforms in the banking sector, merging several public sector banks.