Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has on Tuesday outlined that unemployment is high in the country and the informal sector is in shambles following the “ill-considered demonetization decision” which was taken by the BJP-led government in 2016.
The former leader also slammed the central government for not holding regular consultations with the states.
While inaugurating a development summit which was organized virtually by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, an economic think tank aligned to the Congress ideology in poll-bound Kerala.
Mr. Singh said temporary measures by the Government of India and the Reserve Bank to paper over the credit issues will not blind us to the looming credit crisis that lies ahead which could affect the small and medium sector.
“Unemployment is high and the informal sector is in shambles, a crisis precipitated by the ill-considered demonetization decision taken in 2016”, Singh said.
The virtual summit was organized to launch a Vision Document, a framework of ideas for the development of Kerala well in advance of the state elections. Singh said in Kerala and in many other states, public finances are in disarray with states having no option but to borrow, thereby creating an intolerable burden on future budgets.
He said, “Federalism and regular consultation with states, which was the cornerstone of Indias economic and political philosophy as enshrined in the Constitution, no longer finds favor with the present Central government.”
“There are many roadblocks ahead that the state has to overcome. The global downturn of the last two or three years, aggravated by the pandemic, has made the global interface of Kerala more fragile.”
“While the increased use of digital modes of work may keep the IT sector afloat, tourism has been hit badly and the rate at which the pandemic is galloping in Kerala poses challenges for this industry”, the former Prime Minister said.
He, however, stated that the focus on health and education has enabled Kerala to take advantage of job opportunities elsewhere in the country and in all parts of the world.
He noted that this has led to a growing stream of remittances from abroad which created a booming real estate industry and sharp growth of the services sector, led by tourism and information technology.
“In the midst of all the gloom, I see the UDF’s steadfast adherence to planned growth with a clear sense of direction and concern for the common man a beacon of hope, not only for Kerala but for the whole country”, he said.
“When I presented the national budget in 1991 as Finance Minister, I quoted Victor Hugo, who had said, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
“I get the feeling that the unanimity and clarity displayed by the UDF on the road ahead will lead to Kerala’s idea moment arriving this year”, said Singh.