New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Friday questioned the economic policies of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said young Indians were waiting for the 20 million jobs promised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Singh was speaking at the launch of Shades of Truth, a book by former Union minister Kapil Sibal.
Singh blamed the BJP-led government for joblessness and said that the employment growth rate had declined in the last four years and that figures presented by the NDA on job creation were unimpressive.
“Our youth are desperately waiting for the promised two crore jobs. Employment growth rate has been declining in last four years. People aren’t impressed with the figures being put out by the Modi government to justify creation of a large number of jobs," said Singh.
Singh said flagship programmes like Make in India and Stand Up India had not made much impact and that small and marginal enterprises had not benefitted significantly from ease of doing business schemes.
“Programmes like Make in India & Stand Up India are yet to make meaningful impact on industrial production growth. Small and marginal enterprises are yet to derive significant benefit from ease of doing business schemes. Demonetization and GST’s hasty implementation have hurt enterprises," Singh said.
The book launch became an event to showcase opposition unity as it was attended by Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), senior politician Sharad Yadav, and former minister P. Chidambaram, apart from Sibal.
“I’m afraid that Modi has understood the power of democracy. That is why he is on a mission to destroy it. Attacks on institutions are part of an ideological background," said Yechury.
The scathing attack on the government is significant as the opposition parties are planning to make unemployment, the ongoing rural distress, the impact of demonetization on the economy and the implementation of GST major election issues against the BJP-NDA government. Sibal said had demonetization been taken in any other country, the prime minister would have had to vacate his chair.
Pretika Khanna contributed to the story.