Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday expressed concern over the "prolonged" slowdown and blamed "all-round mismanagement" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for the state of the Indian economy.
"The state of the economy today is deeply worrying. The last quarter's GDP growth rate of 5 percent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown. India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate but all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown," said the former PM.
He urged the government to put aside vendetta politics and consult with "all sane voices and thinking minds" to save the economy.
Drawing from the data released on Friday - which showed that India's economic growth had come down to five percent in the April-June quarter – he called the implementation of GST "hasty" and a "man-made disaster".
"It is particularly distressing that the manufacturing sector's growth is tottering at 0.6 percent. This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST," he said.
The economist and senior Congress leader also talked about the growing unemployment rate. "The Modi government's policies are resulting in massive job-less growth. More than 3.5 lakh jobs have been lost in the automobile sector alone. There will similarly be large scale job losses in the informal sector, hurting our most vulnerable workers," he said.
Singh's statement comes in the backdrop of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing that the government is in talks with representatives of every sector of the economy.
Talking to reporters in Chennai, she said that most of the employment in the economy sector is generated by the informal sector which remains undocumented. She also said that the measures taken in July are showing results on the ground.
The former prime minister in his statement also said that resilience of the central bank will be tested after the surplus of Rs 1.76 lakh crores transfer to the Centre.
"Budget announcements and rollbacks have shaken the confidence of international investors. India has not been able to increase its exports to take advantage of opportunities that have arisen in global trade due to geopolitical realignments. Such is the state of economic management under the Modi government," he said.