During an address to the National Convention at New Delhi’s JLN stadium to commemorate Indira Gandhi’s 98th birth anniversary, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said India’s economic policy has lost sense of direction after the Modi Government scrapped the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission, he said, was a “positive dynamic instrument steering the country’s economy.” Dr. Singh reminded the government that Pt. Nehru was responsible for developing the agricultural sector, a work which was later taken forward by Indira Gandhi and culminated in the Green Revolution. Modi would do well to take lessons from the actions and policies of these two former PMs.
If government’s own numbers are any indication, actual implementation of projects, filed through the Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEM), stood at a mere Rs 37,915 crore (Jan-Aug, 2015) against Rs 64,276 crore over the same period last year. During UPA’s tenure, in 2012, the figure for the same period was Rs 82,156 crore.
Also worrying is that the total proposed investment filed through IEM fell from 3,32,441 crore the previous year to Rs 2,36,423 crore this year – a decline of roughly Rs 1 lakh crore.
Dr. Singh said that the BJP is spreading malicious propaganda that there has not been any progress in the last 60 years.
Prior to independence, India’s economy was tottering at 0.5%, our literacy levels were below 20% and we were a food deficient country. This changed because of the policies of successive Congress governments who laid emphasis on developing agriculture and education.
During Pt. Nehru’s term, the economy grew at 4.1% and reached a tremendous 9% under Dr. Singh. Today, our literacy rate is 75%. How would all this have been possible, if not for the policies of Congress governments?
Instead of vilifying them, Modi would do well to learn from his predecessors. Failing this, his model of governance is failing the Indian economy as well.