Manmohan Singh attacks demonetisation in Gujarat, reiterates it was a reckless step, organised loot

Describing the BJP-led government's demonetisation exercise as a reckless step, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said scrapping higher value currency notes was organised loot and legalised plunder.

None of its objectives were achieved, Singh said during an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businesspersons and traders.

A file photo of Manmohan Singh, AFP

A file photo of Manmohan Singh, AFP

"Demonetisation was organised loot and legalised plunder," he said during his visit to poll-bound Gujarat.

Hitting out at the government over the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), Singh said compliance requirements under GST had become a nightmare for small businesses.

He also criticised the Centre's ambitious Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project and dubbed it an exercise in vanity.

Singh's visit comes a day before Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to tour Surat on the anniversary of the government's announcement of the demonetisation exercise.

Opposition parties are observing 'black day' tomorrow.

The twin blow of demonetisation and goods and services tax is a complete disaster for our economy as they have broken the back of our small businesses, ANI reported Singh as saying at the event.

Due to demonetisation and GST, the country had to run for Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs, Singh said. In 1st half of 2016-17 India's imports from China stood at Rs 1.96 lakh crore; in 2017-18, it increased to Rs 2.41 lakh crore, he pointed out.

"Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 Cr, a 23% increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and GST," he said.

Post both the steps, the fear of tax terrorism has eroded the confidence of businesses to invest, he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Updated Date: Nov 07, 2017 14:17 PM

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