Fri, 22 Nov 2019

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 17 (ANI): Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday slammed the BJP-led Central government and said that it is "obsessed with trying to fix blame on its opponents" and not finding solutions.

"I have just seen a statement by the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, I would not like to comment on that but I can merely point out that before one can fix the economy, one would need a correct diagnosis of its ailments and their causes," Singh said while addressing media here.

"The government is obsessed with trying to somehow fix blame on its opponents. In the process, it is unable to find solutions that will ensure the revival of the economy particularly strengthening of our banking system," he added.

Singh said that the industrial slowdown is being met with "rising imports from China".

"In the last five years, imports from China have risen by more than Rs 1.22 lakh crore. Chemicals, fertilisers, electronic goods and automobiles manufactured in Maharashtra have seen rising imports from our neighbouring country," he said.

Asked whether the Central government has approached him or sought any advice on how to tackle the economic slowdown, he said, "I have not been that fortunate."He later said, "The Finance Minister came to see me just before she presented her Budget and I gave her my good wishes."Talking about the government's decision to reduce corporate tax rates, Singh said, "I support the measures to reduce taxes, but I also would like to add that the problem right now is the shortage of demand and if you want to deal with the shortage of demand, I think the better route would have been to reduce indirect taxes which would provide relief to the poor people of our country."Further criticising the Central government, Singh said, "With regard to what happened when I was the Prime Minister and we had a Congress party Finance Minister, what happened did happen, there were some weaknesses, but this government has been in office for five-and-a-half years. It should have learned from our mistakes and provided credible solutions to those problems which are still affecting our economy."He added, "You cannot claim year after year that the fault lies with the UPA. You have been in office for five-and-a-half years and that's long enough period for a government which is committed to public welfare, to do some credible things. Merely passing the buck to the UPA regime is no solution to India's problems. You may score some debating points, but you are not finding solution to the problems of the suffering humanity of our country."Singh stated that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government "believes in headlines management, but not in concrete achievements." (ANI)

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