New Delhi , Nov 29: Concerned over the sharp slowdown in India’s economy and its disastrous consequences, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested ways to Narendra Modi government to help revive the economy.
He stressed that economic growth and development are shaped by the societies in which they operate.
Singh cautioned that mere changes in economic policy alone 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.State of economy is a reflection of state of its society. Our social fabric of trust and confidence is now torn and ruptured,
“The state of our society is even more worrying and that is a fundamental reason for the precarious state of our economy,” he said.
Manmohan Singh spoke about the state of the Indian economy at the National Economy Conclave where he gave the valedictory address. Commenting on the GDP growth rate of 4.5 per cent, Singh said that there’s still something that’s in a worse state than the Indian economy.
Signalling a palpable climate of fear in the society, Singh said, “Many industrialists are living in fear of harassment by government 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. Technology start-ups that are an important new engine of economic growth and jobs, seem to live under a shadow of constant surveillance and deep suspicion. Policy makers in government and other institutions are scared to speak the truth or engage in intellectually honest policy discussions. There is profound fear and distrust among our various economic participants. Public trust in independent institutions such as the media, judiciary, regulatory authorities, and investigative agencies has been severely eroded. This toxic combination of deep distrust, pervasive fear and a sense of hopelessness in our society is stifling economic activity and hence economic growth.”
Singh urged the Prime Minister to set aside his deep-rooted suspicion of society and built trust so as to revive the economy.
” Shooting down messengers of bad news or shutting off economic reports and data is juvenile and does not behove a rising global economic powerhouse, ” Manmohan Singh said while advising Modi government to change its approach.
He further stressed that no amount of subterfuge can hide the performance and analysis of a $3 trillion market economy of 1.2 billion people. Economic participants respond to social and economic incentives, Not diktats or coercions or public relations.