New Delhi, November 18: The alarming state of economic slowdown is primarily due to a sense of fear among businessmen, bankers, entrepreneurs and industrialists, said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In an editorial published on Tuesday, the Congress veteran said the root cause of the deteriorating condition of the economy is the Narendra Modi government's "mala fide unless proven otherwise" doctrine.
The phrase refers to a policy measure in which the ruling regime and the bureaucracy perceives all non-governmental stakeholders of the economy as dishonest players. The doctrine puts the onus on the stakeholders to prove that they have no intent to defraud the government. Consumer Spending Declined First Time in Over Four Decades? Government Says Won't Release NSO Findings Over 'Data Quality Issues'.
The Centre has long been rejecting the charge of economic conservatism and red-tapism, and on the contrary, has sighted the jump in India's position in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index to validate its claim.
Singh, however, claimed that the sense of distrust among the key stakeholders of the economy is evident. "The premise of the government’s policy framework seems to be that economic participants have mala-fide intent unless they can prove otherwise," the economist-turned-politician said in an op-ed published in The Hindu.
"This suspicion that every industrialist, banker, policymaker, regulator, entrepreneur and citizen is out to defraud the government has led to a complete breakdown of trust in our society," he further added.
Singh, who led the nation as the Prime Minister for 10 years, said a economic revival could be charted out by the government only if adopts an open-approach. By refuting credible data, he alleged, the Centre is only furthering itself into the denial mode.
The ex-PM appealed the Modi government to contemplate over the unreleased data which have projected unemployment to a 45-year-old high, nominal GDP growth to a 15-year-old low and rural consumption falling to its lowest point in the last four decades. The data bringing the above statistics to light has been withheld from public release by the government, citing "quality issues".