At first glance I dismissed his rants as a burned out veteran trying to come back to the spotlight even if it means jeopardizing the son’s career. However on second read, some of the points he raised makes sense:
1 What is the picture of the Indian economy today? Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress
2 Demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster.
3. A badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market.
4 For quarter after quarter, the growth rate of the economy has been declining until it reached the low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal, the lowest in three years as per the changed methodology in 2015
So, according to the old method of calculation, the growth rate of 5.7 per cent is actually 3.7 per cent or less.
5 Even SBI, the largest public sector bank of the country, has stated with unusual frankness that the slowdown is not transient or “technical”, it is here to stay and the slowdown in demand has only aggravated the situation According to the SBI chairman, the telecom sector is the latest entrant to the long list of stressed sectors.
6. The prime minister is worried. A meeting convened by the prime minister with the finance minister and his officials appears to have been postponed indefinitely. The finance minister has promised a package to revive growth. We are all waiting with bated breath for this package. It has not come so far.
7. The performance of the monsoon this year has not been flattering. This will further intensify rural distress. The farmers have received “massive” loan waivers from some state governments varying from one paise to a few rupees in some cases.
8. Forty leading companies of the country are already facing bankruptcy proceedings. Many more are likely to follow suit.
9. The SME sector is suffering from an unprecedented existential crisis.
10. The input tax credit demand under the GST is a whopping Rs 65,000 crore against a collection of Rs 95,000 crore. The government has asked the income tax department to chase those who have made large claims.
11. Cash flow problems have already arisen for many companies specially in the SME sector. But this is the style of functioning of the finance ministry now.
12 We protested against raid raj when we were in opposition. Today it has become the order of the day. Post demonetisation, the income tax department has been charged with the responsibility of investigating lakhs of cases involving the fate of millions of people. The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI also have their plates full.
13 Instilling fear in the minds of the people is the name of the new game.
14 Economies are destroyed more easily than they are built. It took almost four years of painstaking and hard work in the late nineties and early 2000 to revive a sagging economy we had inherited in 1998. Nobody has a magic wand to revive the economy overnight. Steps taken now will take their own time to produce results.
15, A revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election appears highly unlikely. A hard landing appears inevitable.
16. Bluff and bluster is fine for the hustings, it evaporates in the face of reality.
now the climax
17. The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters.