New Delhi: Reacting sharply to the economic slowdown India is witnessing, economist and former PM Manmohan Singh said that the sharp fall in the growth rate from 5% in the first quarter to 4.5% in the second quarter is unacceptable and deeply worrying.

“There is no one today that can deny the sharp slowdown in India’s economy & its disastrous consequences particularly for our farmers, youth and poor. The GDP figures released today point that the growth rate of our economy in Q2FY20 is as at 4.5%,” Manmohan said delivering the valedictory speech of National Economy Conclave.

Blaming the environment of fear, Manmohan said, “It is my belief that mere changes in economic policy will not help revive the economy. We need to change the current climate in our society from one of fear to one of confidence for our economy to start growing robustly again at 8% p.a.”

“There is a palpable climate of fear in our society today. Many industrialists tell me that they live in an atmosphere of fear in our society today. They tell me that they live in the fear of harassment by Govt authorities. Bankers are reluctant to make new loans for fear of retribution. Entrepreneurs are hesitant to put up fresh projects for fear of failure attributed to ulterior motives.

“Shooting messengers of bad news or shutting off economic reports & data is juvenile & does not behove a rising global economic powerhouse. No amount of subterfuge can hide the performance of a $3 trillion market economy,” he said.

“I urge the Prime Minister to set aside his deep-rooted suspicion of our society and nurse us back to a harmonious, confident and mutually trustworthy society that can revive the animal spirits and help our economy soar,” he added.

The Congress has issued a statement terming BJP’s understanding of GDP as ‘Godse Divisive Politics’.

As several political parties are raising questions over the ‘flailing economy’, the ministry has issued a statement claiming that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong. “We take note of the announcement of the rate of GDP growth. The fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong. GDP growth is expected to pick up from 3rd quarter of FY 2019-20,” said Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary DEA.

 

“IMF has projected India’s GDP growth at 6.1 per cent in FY 2019-20 and 7 per cent in FY 2020-21 in it’s October, 2019 report on World Economic Outlook,” he added.