Former Prime Minister and economist Dr Manmohan Singh keep a close watch on the policies of the government, especially those related to the economy. He not only keeps an eye on them but also gives his opinions wherever required.
Each statement of Dr Manmohan Singh is a mirror in which the shortcomings of the government are visible. In initial days of the Corona Pandemic, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed the lockdown in the country, Dr Singh said that although the lockdown was necessary, it was not implemented with due consideration.
The decision to implement lockdown was big, and the government was not prepared. The lockdown stopped everything at each level. And with stagnation, there is no place for life.
The hasty lockdown is responsible for the current slowdown in the country’s economy. At one time, the government justified itself on lockdown, saying there are fewer cases of COVID-19 in the country because of the lockdown. But now when the number of cases is increasing rapidly, why is the government silent?
Manmohan Singh also said that today people do not have money for day to day expenditure. Shortage of cash is severely affecting the normal life of people. In this situation, it is the duty of the government to provide some money to the people. Although it will increase the debt, cash transfer is necessary at present. If debt saves lives and helps the economy, then there is nothing wrong in it.
According to him, one must not feel shame about taking a loan. Instead, they should think about how to spend the loan amount. He said this in the context of government expenditure on various non-essential projects. For instance, the amount spent on the massive statue of Sardar Patel could have been utilised for public welfare. The government incurred several other expenses to maintain its image.
Manmohan Singh also suggested that the increase in import duty on import of goods from abroad could further affect the country’s economy. If other countries have increased import duties, it is because their economies allow it. In comparison, India is already moving towards economic pitfall.
Print media always prioritises Dr Singh’s suggestions. Mostly, people agree with his views. But the government rarely takes him seriously. A proficient leader is one who respects the qualities of his opponents. Whoever is in government, they must pay attention to every voice that has the ability to guide them.
If Manmohan Singh’s suggestions are ignored just because he is a Congress member, then this shows the parochial nature of the present government.