Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that the hasty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax negatively effected the growth of India’s Gross Domestic Product. “Both demonetisation and the GST have had some impact [on the GDP growth],” he told CNBC–TV18. “Both will affect the informal sector and the small-scale sector. These sectors are today responsible for 40% of GDP.”
Singh said 90% of India’s employment is in the informal sector. “Because the GST has been put into practice in haste, there are many glitches now coming up. This is bound to effect GDP growth,” he said.
India’s GDP growth slowed to 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017 from 7.9% in the corresponding period last year. A number of sectors, including manufacturing, electricity and construction, saw a decline in growth, which pulled the overall figure down in the April-June quarter.
Singh has been critical of the Narendra Modi-led government’s decisions in the economic sector, including of demonetisation. He had said the Indian economy was running on “just one engine of public spending”.