Amid slamming and criticism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his government is committed to bringing back the economy on track, defending demonetisation drive and implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST). He admitted that the growth rate has reduced, but assured the government is doing everything to revive the economy.
“After achieving average growth of 7.5 percent over three years, we accept that growth rates came down April-June. But the government is committed to reverse it,” said PM Modi.
He was addressing company secretaries from all over India at an event to mark the start of the golden jubilee year of the Institutes of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
He said, “During six years of the previous government there were eight instances when GDP was at or below 5.7 percent.” “At a time India was made a member of a group in the context of international economy, it was fragile 5 per cent. How did it happen when big economists were there?” said PM.
He defended demonetisation drive and the GST rollout, saying that the efforts are being made to put the country in ‘a new league of development’.
“After demonetisation, the cash to GDP ratio has come down to 9 per cent. Before November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation drive was announced, it was 12 percent,” PM Modi said. “I have told the GST council to review the problems being faced by traders and we are willing to make changes as per the suggestions,” he added.
Attacking opposition parties and likes of Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, he said, “There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of pessimism all around. We need to recognise such people. Not everything that a critic says is wrong but one should refrain from creating a negative environment in the country.”
“The government very well understands the value of your hard-earned money. Our policies and schemes are focused at bettering life of the poor and middle class. I will not let the present problems jeopardize the future of the country,” he assured.
His comments come days after former finance minister Yashwant Sinha accused the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of leaving the economy in a mess. On Tuesday, former BJP minister Arun Shourie also backed Sinha.