Letters

Economic malaise

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The article by the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh lays out threadbare India’s economic situation (Editorial page, “The fountainhead of India’s economic malaise,” Nov. 18). It is, however, silent on the questionable measures adopted by the government such as appropriation of central bank reserves and privatisation of many undertakings. The government is facilitating accumulation of wealth in the hands of corporates, who are euphemistically called ‘wealth creators’. Dr. Singh’s article is also silent on the agrarian crisis. With the regime engrossed in non-issues like building a temple in Ayodhya, the common man’s future has never been so bleak.

G.B. Sivanandam,

Coimbatore

Dr. Manmohan Singh has rightly pointed out lack of confidence in the government to be the cause for prolonged economic slowdown. The euphoria of corporate India over Narendra Modi’s rise has gradually been replaced by suspicion and fear. The Modi government removed Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi from the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister as they were critical of the government’s policies. The government kept on hold the Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017-2018 findings under the guise of “data quality issues”. In fact, the survey reported that consumer spending in rural areas has plummeted for the first time in more than four decades. Setting aside this type of attitude, the government should come with a new generation of reforms.

R. Vairamuthuvel,

Virudhunagar

Dr. Manmohan Singh’s fusillade against the government has added another inventive layer to the intolerance debate that his party has been unsuccessfully trying to propagate since 2014. By lending a populist twist to the narrative of the climate of fear that the Congress party has been disseminating with Goebbelsian finesse, he has postulated an astonishing hypothesis that economic activity has slowed down because businesses and industries have been demoralised by the government’s vindictive policies and actions. To condemn the government as entrepreneur-unfriendly doesn’t square up with the fact the ease of doing business has appreciably improved during the last five years. The government’s zero-tolerance approach to corruption both in the private sector and in the government has ruffled a few feathers, but the public perception does not consider it as promoting a climate of fear. Interestingly, the main complaint of the industry and trade circles — lack of reforms — is conspicuous by its absence in the political broadside that is disguised as economic analysis. Dr. Singh seems to have penned the article as the government’s implacable political adversary rather than a learned economist who is willing to offer specific and actionable policy prescriptions to revive economic growth.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:18:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/economic-malaise/article30010431.ece

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