White Paper on economy in 2014 could have worsened woes: Modi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jul 2018 09:42:49


 

NEW DELHI,


“In 2014, industry was leaving India. India was in the Fragile Five. Experts believed that the ‘I’ in BRICS would collapse. Public sentiment was that of disappointment and pessimism. In the midst of this, imagine a White Paper coming out giving intricate details of the extent of damage. Instead of being a mollifier, it would be a multiplier of the distress,” said Modi

 

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has said that he did not bring out a White Paper on India’s economy when he took over in 2014 because making public “intricate details” could have multiplied the distress rather than mollifying it.
In an interview to ‘Swarajya’ magazine, the Prime Minister said that his Government tolerated a number of “political allegations” and accepted “political damage” to ensure no further damage to the country.


“The details about the decay in the Indian economy were unbelievable. It had the potential to cause a crisis all over. In 2014, industry was leaving India. India was in the Fragile Five. Experts believed that the ‘I’ in BRICS would collapse. Public sentiment was that of disappointment and pessimism.


“Now, in the midst of this, imagine a White Paper coming out giving intricate details of the extent of damage. Instead of being a mollifier, it would be a multiplier of the distress,” Modi said in response to a query whether bringing out a White Paper on the state of the economy in 2014 would have made things worse.


The Prime Minister has rejected the Opposition charge of lack of employment generation, citing data provided by State Governments to ask how the Centre could create joblessness if the States are creating “good numbers of jobs”. He also said that the lack of data on jobs had given the Opposition the opportunity “to paint a picture of their choice”. To double farmer income by 2022, his Government is following a four-pronged strategy, which seeks to decrease input cost, ensure proper prices for the produce, minimise harvest and post-harvest losses and create more avenues for income generation, the Prime Minister said.


Responding to a question on job employment, he said there is lack of consistency in the political debate around job creation. “We have data put out by State Governments on employment. For example, the previous Karnataka Government claimed to have created 53 lakh jobs. The West Bengal Government said it created 68 lakh jobs in the last term.” “If States are all creating good numbers of jobs, is it possible that the country is not creating jobs? Is it possible that States are creating jobs but the Centre is creating joblessness?” he wondered.


More than a lack of jobs, the issue is lack of data on jobs, he pointed out. He said there were several “landmines” laid in various sectors and his Government accepted this uncomfortable truth and hit the ground running from the very first day to stabilise things so that the Indian economy could be strengthened for the long haul. “We tolerated a number of political allegations, we accepted political damage but ensured no damage to our country,” he said, adding that the positive results of Government’s approach are for everyone to see.


“Today, India is the fastest growing large economy of the world with strong fundamentals to propel further growth. Foreign investment is at an all-time high, GST has revolutionised the tax regime, India is an easier place to do business than ever before and, most importantly, we are seeing unprecedented levels of trust and optimism,” he said.


Further justifying the decision not to bring out the White Paper, the Prime Minister said that his Government preferred to think of “India First” instead of putting politics first.


“We all knew that the economy was in doldrums, but since we were not in Government, we naturally did not have the complete details of the state of the economy. But, what we saw when we formed the Government left us shocked! The state of the economy was much worse than expected. Things were terrible. Even the budget figures were suspicious,” he said.