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Modi's Demonetisation Wiped out Confidence in Economy, Writes Rahul Gandhi in Op-ed For Financial Times

‘The prime minister claimed his decision was aimed at wiping out corruption. Twelve months on the only thing he has wiped out is confidence in our once booming economy. Demonetisation has wiped out 2 per cent of India’s gross domestic product, destroyed the informal labour sector and has wiped out many small and medium businesses,’ Gandhi wrote.

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Updated:November 8, 2017, 3:51 PM IST
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Modi's Demonetisation Wiped out Confidence in Economy, Writes Rahul Gandhi in Op-ed For Financial Times
File photo of Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Terming demonetisation a move that ‘wiped out confidence’ in Indian economy, Congress vice-president has slammed Narendra Modi-government in an op-ed that has appeared in Financial Times, UK’s top business newspaper.

‘The prime minister claimed his decision was aimed at wiping out corruption. Twelve months on the only thing he has wiped out is confidence in our once booming economy. Demonetisation has wiped out 2 per cent of India’s gross domestic product, destroyed the informal labour sector and has wiped out many small and medium businesses,’ Gandhi wrote.

The op-ed further attributes Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, which has said that ‘over 1.5 million people lost their jobs in the first four months of 2017 due to demonetisation’.

Gandhi added that a ‘hastily imposed and poorly conceptualized’ goods and services tax has worsened the things. ‘Bureaucratic and complex, it has devastated livelihoods, creating a modern day Licence Raj that imposes rigid controls and gives vast powers to government officials. These two acts come at a time when global forces place particular demands on India’s economic model. One of the primary responsibilities of a state is to provide vocation to its people. China’s global monopoly on blue-collar jobs is a fundamental challenge to other states. This has created millions of disenfranchised and angry workers who express their frustration at the ballot box — whether in votes for Mr Modi, Brexit, or Donald Trump,” he wrote.

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He added that ‘democratically-elected autocrat was driven by two factors: a massive increase in connectivity and its profound impact on institutions; and, second, China’s dominance of the global job market’.

‘In democracies, information once resided in institutional silos accessible only to a limited number of people. The internet has destroyed those monopolies. Connectivity and the transparency it inspires has positively transformed the world, but in doing so it has also irreparably damaged the machinery of our institutions,’ the op-ed stated, adding that the resulting fragmentation has ‘created an environment in which strongmen can flourish unchecked’.

Attacking Modi government on unemployment, Gandhi wrote that instead of managing labour conflict in their factories, Indian capitalists, just like their western counterparts, chose to offshore manufacturing. ‘The Chinese Communist party, sitting on an explosive social problem of its own in the 1970s, embraced the western world’s labour conflict. As Deng Xiaoping said, it doesn’t matter what colour the cat is as long as it catches the mouse. Today, the Chinese cat has firmly caught the global manufacturing mouse. Chinese political organisation combined with communications technology to transform the factory,’ wrote the Congress leader, who is slated to become party chief soon.

Gandhi wrote India under Modi has been creating just about 500 jobs a day, while China created 50,000 jobs a day.

‘Modi has damaged India by converting anger created by joblessness and lack of economic opportunity into communal hatred. He has chosen to hide behind a shallow, hate-filled political narrative. Anger might have brought Modi to power but it will never create jobs or fix India’s institutions,’ he added.

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