Noted economist S. Gurumurthy here on Wednesday blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for weakening the economy of India by adopting faulty economic policies.

He was speaking at a meeting organised by the Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries (MADITSSIA) and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on ‘Falling Indian economy and the solution.’ In the recent years, the UPA government eased customs duty and excise tariff to facilitate import of capital goods amounting to several billion dollars from foreign countries which could have been manufactured in India.

“Indian economy did not fall because of importing gold. We imported gold for $160 billion, crude oil for $515 billion and capital goods such as heavy machinery for $587 billion. We have imported capital goods for $175 billion from China alone,” Mr.Gurumurthy claimed.

He said the UPA government was well aware of the wrong economic policies it followed, but continued to go ahead to benefit a few big companies. “The $2.7-billion deficit in 2004-2005 has increased to $89 billion. There was a surplus of $22 billion in 2003,” Mr.Gurumurthy said.

According to him, India is able to withstand the financial crisis only because of the savings of the individuals. “Indian women are the backbone of our nation’s economy.

The current fall in the economy is the result of the wrong economic policies formulated by the government which does not understand the economy. India’s economic strength rests with the informal sectors that comprise around 75 per cent of the unregistered organisations that provide employment for 10 crore people,” he added. The government had failed to identify the unorganised sectors and boost their growth, he said.

Answering a question on the Food Security Bill, Mr.Gurumurthy said the implementation of the bill would affect food productivity. “Nearly 10 crore farmers, who own less than five acres of land, will stop cultivating food crops. They now generate food for 60 crore people. India will have to rely on other countries then,” he said.

V.S. Manimaran, president of MADITSSIA, and R. Srinivasan, State convenor of the SJM, spoke.

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