New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took aim at "Harvard Economists", his predecessor Manmohan Singh and quoted the latest GDP figures in a combative defence of Demonetisation.
“Harvard se aaye hue logon ko desh ne dekh liya hai. Jab bhi kuch hota hai Harvard ki degree dikhate hai. Ek taraf Harvard, toh doosre taraf hard work. Desh ne dekh liya hai ki Harvard walon ka arthshastra kitabon me reh gaya hai aur hard work karne walon ka khet me, gaon me, mazdoor ke haathon me panapne lag gaya hai.” The people of this country have seen through those who come from Harvard. Whenever something happens they brandish their Harvard degree. The country has realized that Harvard economics only works in textbooks while those who do hard work are doing it for the villagers and labourers working in the fields” - Modi at the Deoria rally.
This is a reference to international economists who have been critical of demonetisation. Dr. Amartya Sen is the most prominent professor of Indian origin who teaches at Harvard University and is a critic of the move.
“Kya kya bole. Parliament me bola, gaon, galliyon me jaakar chillaya, Bharat barbaad ho jayega. GDP 2% kam ho jayega, koi kehta kisan barbaad, fasal barbaad, berozgaari aajayegi.Daily ek jhoot” What all they said: In Parliament they said; they shouted in the villages and streets that India will be ruined, GDP will reduce by 2% [points]; they said farmers and crops will be ruined and unemployment will increase. Daily one lie.” – Modi at the Deoria rally.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament said that Demonetisation would reduce GDP growth by 2 percentage points.
“Kal GDP ke aankde aagaye aur aankdon ne phir ek baar keh diya ki saari duniya me, badi deshon me, tez gati se badhne waala Hindustan hai. Jaise aankde aaye, unki jhoot ka pol khul gaya.” The GDP figures were released yesterday and according to them India is still the fastest growing major economy in the world. Their lies have been exposed.” – Modi in Deoria.
GDP figures released yesterday showed that India grew at 7% in the October-December 2016 quarter and would expand 7.1% in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Modi’s reference to GDP is an attempt to convince UP’s voters that it had no impact on the economy.
“Ek taraf vo hain jo Harvard ki baat karte hain, aur ek taraf ye gareeb ka beta hardwork se desh ki economy badalne me laga hai.”On the one hand are those from Harvard [University] who talk, and on the other hand is this son of the poor who wants to change the country’s economy through hard work. - Modi in Maharajganj.
The comments at election rallies indicate an aggressive defence of demonetisation and mocking of critics who have warned of the dangers of the move to invalidate 86% of cash in the economy.
Amartya Sen, a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard, has termed demonetisation as “Depsotic” and called it Modi’s “Napoleon Moment”. He has also warned that it would have adverse effects.
“Despite notebandi the GDP figures prove that people like you did not let economic growth suffer,” The Prime Minister said. Modi said that the numbers showed that different sectors like mining, electricity and agriculture had posted a healthy growth, which showed that the note ban did not affect growth, as economists said it would.
The Prime Minister also addressed questions raised about the credibility of the data.
“People have been asking whether the numbers are real or not, where have the numbers come from? Our figures have come from the same place they have been coming from for the past 10 years,” he told the audience. “The country wants this kind of an economic model,” the Prime Minister said in Maharajganj.
India’s GDP numbers surprised most analysts and economists. The Ministry of Statistics yesterday released data that suggested that the Indian economy had entirely sidestepped the disruption caused by the invalidation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in November.
The data showed that private consumption increased 11% in the last 3 months of 2016. This is the same period that purchases ground to a halt after Demonetisation due to the cash scarcity.