Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the Indian economy was not in good shape, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party government gets ready to release the Union Budget on February 1. At the release of an economic report by the Congress, the Real State of the Economy 2015, Singh also said that several ratings agencies had lowered their Gross Domestic Product growth expectations for the country, ANI reported.
“Tomorrow is the day when the government will present its economic survey,” Singh said. “We [the Congress] thought it a good idea that we should also bring out a document which sets out what we consider is the real state of the economy.” The former prime minister said the report would help the public to assess the state of the Indian economy, “where it is heading to and what can be done to bring it on the right path”, The Indian Express reported.
Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who was also present, criticised the Narendra Modi-led central government for not doing enough to create jobs and help credit growth. “There are no jobs, capital formation is declining, credit growth is the lowest in several decades...if the government presents a rosy picture of the economy, [the] people of India are entitled to question that,” he said.
“Every government must be optimistic, but optimism must stem from a realistic assessment of the situation,” Chidambaram said, adding that the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government “tends to believe [an] exaggerated version of the economy”. On Saturday, the former minister said he would have submitted his resignation if he had been the finance minister in the Narendra Modi government when it took the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The release of the report comes one day ahead of the Centre’s Economic Survey report, and two days ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget. Opposition parties, economists and ratings agencies are expected to focus on indicators and schemes focussing on demonetisation and its aftermath.