Former PM Dr Singh says: Note ban and GST broke back of small businesses

AHMEDABAD: Once again, the congress party pointed out its gun on the economy on Tuesday, fielding the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in Gujarat to intensify party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the Narendra Modi government’s mega reforms, the notes ban and new national sales tax GST.

“Twin blow is a complete disaster for our economy, it has broken the back of our small businesses,” said Dr Manmohan Singh and also criticized the bullet train plan as “an exercise in vanity”.

Calling demonetisation “a reckless step”, with none of its goals achieved, Dr Singh stated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ban on high value notes exactly a year ago was a “disastrous policy” thrust on the people.

Dr Singh stated, Congress government has not resorted to banning high value notes because “coercive steps like demonetization are ineffective. Nowhere in the world has any nation taken such a drastic step that swept off 86% of the currency.”

In Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi voiced in the weekend in election speeches that had former minister Indira Gandhi of the congress opted for notes ban when needed, he would not have had had to do so. PM Modi has emphasized in his speeches that long-term gains are expected of GST and Demonetisation, and also added those who oppose them are weakening the cause of fighting corruption.


As per a sudden move, PM Narendra Modi had cancelled high value notes in the month of November 2016. On Tuesday, Dr Singh was addressing a conference businessman and traders organized by the congress in PM Modi’s home state, which is going to be voted next month for the new government. The place next to him at the auditorium of Sardar Patel in Ahmedabad was a festooned photo of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, whose legacy PM Modi and his Party have sought to claim, blaming the Congress not honouring its leader.

Dr Singh, whose party has blamed the centre of faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax or GST, stated, “when undertaking the endeavour of one nation one tax if the PM had taken inspiration from the resolve of great Sardar Patel, the outcomes would have been different.”

He Also raised questions on PM Modi’s pet project the bullet train, calling it “an exercise in vanity” and enquiring if the Prime Minister had considered the alternative of “a high-speed train by upgrading broad gauge railway?”. Also, he asked, “By questioning bullet trains does one become anti-development?” Does questioning GST and Demonetisation make one a tax evader?”

The Congress is seeking to grab Gujarat from the BJP, which is ruling the state for the last 22 years straight. Rahul Gandhi has in his Gujarat Campaign made provoking attacks on PM Modi and his government over both GST and notes ban, which he has given a tag named “Gabbar Singh Tax” after the famous villain from Bollywood superhit movie “Sholey”.

Rahul Gandhi has stated that GST has its merits, but has accused the government of a hurried and unwieldly roll-out and has promised to renovate it completely if his party is voted to power at centre in 2019.

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