PUNE: Senior economist, a former member of the planning commission and Congress leader Bhalchandra Mungekar criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) economic policies and held it responsible for the current economic crisis.
Mungekar said due to irresponsible and irrational decisions of demonetisation and the GST, the slowdown has aggravated and the country is now facing an economic crisis.
He was addressing a press conference in Congress Bhavan on Thursday. He addressed the media on the issue of ‘Economic challenge of slowdown and remedies’. He said, “The Union government should hold a round-table conference of economists and business institutions.”
He added, “The government is not admitting that the country is facing the economic crisis due egoistic nature of the leadership and a lack of knowledge about the economy. Small businessmen got massive setbacks and the economy has collapsed. Economy-related saving, investment, import-export, industrial production and employment sectors are badly affected. Production is declining in the core industry such as coal, steel, minerals and fertilisers.”
He said, ”Common people don’t have purchasing power. Therefore, the demand for services and goods has gone down. There is no investment. There is no generation of jobs. There is not a single person in the government who has sound knowledge of economics. Therefore, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is making hilarious statements such as cab services are responsible for the slowdown in the auto sector.”
Mungekar said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ruling party leaders are not taking opposition parties seriously. Now, the time has come to keep aside political differences and come together to fight against the economic crisis. The government should conduct a round-table conference of senior and prominent economists and business organisations.”
“The government should not depend on private investments. It should increase investment in the public sector. It should allot funds for welfare schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (MGNREG) and announce subsidy in GST in the auto and real estate sectors. The government should increase spending in the health and education sectors,” the senior economist suggested.