Economy on a downward spiral, many in BJP know it but are scared to say it: Yashwant Sinha


Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has strongly criticised the Modi government over the economic situation and said that many in the party know that the economy is on a downward spiral, but are scared to say it.

Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has strongly criticised the Modi government over the economic situation and said that many in the party know that the economy is on a downward spiral, but are scared to say it.

Sinha’s scathing remarks came a day after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) amid the government’s endeavor to give a push to the growth which has witnessed a slowdown.

In a column written in Indian Express — I need to speak up now — Yashwant Sinha said that he will be failing in his national duty if he does not speak up even now against the mess the finance minister has made of the economy.

That private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, said Sinha describing the current situation of the economy.

Sinha also criticised the note ban move and GST implementation saying, “The demonetization has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster, a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market.”

Stating that he had handled Ministry of Finance and knows how much hard work there is in that ministry alone, Sinha said, “Finance ministry, in the best of times, calls for the undivided attention of its boss if the job has to be properly done. In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task.”

Sinha also said that the reasons for this decline are not far to seek nor have they appeared suddenly. “It was not difficult to anticipate them and take counter measures to deal with them. But that called for devoting time to the task, serious application of mind, understanding of the issues and then working out a game plan to tackle them. It was perhaps too much to expect from a person who was carrying the heavy burden of so many extra responsibilities. The results are there for all of us to see,” he wrote.

The former minister has also hit out at the government saying, economies are destroyed more easily than they are built. “It took almost four years of painstaking and hard work in the late nineties and early 2000 to revive a sagging economy we had inherited in 1998.”

Stating that nobody has a magic wand to revive the economy overnight, Sinha said, “steps taken now will take their own time to pr oduce results. So, a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election appears highly unlikely. A hard landing appears inevitable. Bluff and bluster is fine for the hustings, it evaporates in the face of reality.”

The Economic Advisory Council formed by the prime minister comes over three years after he assumed power and at a time when the GDP has slipped to 5.7 % in April-June quarter, the lowest since May 2014.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “..whatever steps are required to change the (economic) environment, we are certainly in the process of addressing that.”

The opposition has been attributing the slowdown to last year’s demonetization, an argument which the government rejects.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week said the economy was on a ‘downhill path’ because of the ‘adventure’ of demonetization which, he said, was not required at all, either technically or economically.