New Delhi: Days after he criticized the Narendra Modi government for poor implementation of the demonetisation scheme, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said economic policies need to be designed in a manner that the redistribution process does not feed off the public finances.
“Economic policies need to be designed in a manner that the redistribution process does not feed off the public finances and the growth process itself is not hampered," said Singh while speaking at the 111th annual general meeting of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“To achieve this objective, inclusive development needs to be combined with consolidation of public finances, financial stability, employment generation and economic growth and protection of environment," he added.
Singh also said that sustaining 7-7.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth will require significant increase in investments, particularly in infrastructure, and revitalising external trade.
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The former prime minister further said that the “role of Indian States has become critical to ensure adequate growth enhancing expenditure, to press ahead with fiscal consolidation process and to push further India’s growth story."
On Thursday, the otherwise reticent Singh had thrust himself in the middle of the contentious debate on monetisation by making an uncharacteristically harsh speech in the Rajya Sabha—with Prime Minister Narendra Modi looking on from the treasury benches.
Describing demonetisation as an “organized loot, legalized plunder and monumental mismanagement", Singh had claimed that the scheme could cost the country as the GDP will fall by 2 percentage points.
Singh also said that India has to adopt a multipronged strategy that included rapid growth for reducing poverty and creating employment opportunities, improving access to essential services in health and education especially for the weaker sections, empowerment through education and skill development and creating employment opportunities.
“I believe that in line with the ongoing talks on ease of doing business in our country it is important to provide a conducive atmosphere for industry and businesses to create a win-win situation for both the workforce and industry," he added.
PTI contributed to this story.