Demonetisation an organised loot, Bullet train an exercise in vanity, GST a complete disaster: Dr Manmohan Singh

Demonetisation an organised loot, Bullet train an exercise in vanity, GST a complete disaster: Dr Manmohan Singh.

New Delhi, November 7: A year after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 currency notes, the ruling BJP is all set to celebrate its first anniversary.

Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh slammed the Narendra Modi Government calling Demonetisation a big foolishness. While addressing the media in Gujarat, Dr Manmohan Singh said, “8th November was a black day for our economy and indeed our democracy.”

Dr Manmohan Singh said, “Tomorrow we mark one year since the disastrous policy was thrust on the people of our country. Nowhere in the world has any nation taken such a drastic step that swept off 86% of the currency. To promote less cash economy coercive steps like Demonetisation are ineffective. I repeat what I said in the parliament, this was organised loot & legalized plunder.”

“This twin (Demonetisation & GST) blow is a complete disaster for our economy, it has broken the back of our small businesses. We had to run for Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs. The fear of tax terrorism has eroded the confidence of Indian business to invest,” he added.

Dr Manmohan Singh further said, “In the 1st half of 2016-17 India’s imports from China stood at Rs 1. 96 Lakh Crore. In 2017-18 it increased to Rs 2.41 Lakh Cr. I can proudly say that we lifted 140 million people out of poverty. The unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 Cr, a 23% increase in a yr, can be attributed largely to demonetisation, GST. When undertaking endeavour of 1 nation 1 tax if PM had taken inspiration from the resolve of great Sardar Patel, the outcome would’ve been different.”

Dr Manmohan Singh in his concluding words questioned the feasibility of the recently commissioned bullet trains. “Bullet train, launched with much fanfare, is an exercise in vanity. Did PM consider the alternative of the high-speed train by upgrading broad gauge railway? By questioning bullet trains does one become anti-development?

Does questioning GST & Demonetisation make one a tax evader? This attitude of suspecting everyone to be a thief or anti-national, low-level rhetoric is damaging to democratic discourse. While denigrating the past the Prime Minister is also exaggerating what he will do in future. ”

Tax compliance also got a boost in the months following demonetisation. A scrutiny of tax department data available until June 30, 2017 shows that for financial year 2016-17, 1.26 crore new taxpayers, including return filers and non-filers making tax payments, were added to the tax base of the country.