Modi targets Manmohan Singh, says 'policymakers have lost capacity to take decisions'

Ahmedabad, July 24 (ANI): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh over the deteriorating condition of Indian economy, saying policymakers have lost the confidence and capacity to take decisions.

"The Prime Minister says that the money does not grow on trees. But I would like to tell the economist Prime Minister that we in Gujarat say that money grows in the farms, factories and by the sweat of the labourers," said Modi.

Asserting that it is the government's responsibility to defend the national interest and protect the long-term future of the people, the Prime Minister had last year said the recent decisions have been taken to avoid higher fiscal deficit.

"Where would the money for this have come from? Money does not grow on trees. If we had not acted, it would have meant a higher fiscal deficit, that is, an unsustainable increase in government expenditure vis-a-vis government income. If unchecked, this would lead to a further steep rise in prices and a loss of confidence in our economy," Dr. Singh had stated in his address to the nation.

"The prices of essential commodities would rise faster. Both domestic as well as foreign investors would be reluctant to invest in our economy. Interest rates would rise. Our companies would not be able to borrow abroad. Unemployment would increase," he added.

Emphasizing that the nation faced a similar problem earlier in 1991, Dr. Singh said: "Nobody was willing to lend us even small amounts of money then. We came out of that crisis by taking strong, resolute steps. You can see the positive results of those steps. We are not in that situation today, but we must act before people lose confidence in our economy."

"I know what happened in 1991 and I would be failing in my duty as Prime Minister of this great country if I did not take strong preventive action," he had added.

Modi, who was speaking at a media event here, questioned the depreciation in the value of rupee.

"I think there is competition between this Central Government and the rupee, as to who will fall further," said Modi.

"When there is policy paralysis and no single window clearance then why will foreign investors come here?" he asked.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also criticized former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

"Nehruji took the first loan and then started the process of rupee devaluation," he said.

Modi also took potshots at Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

"Chidambaramji advises not to buy gold. But why are people forced to invest in gold? People have no confidence in stocks," he said.

Chidambaram had last month urged citizens to resist the temptation of buying gold, and said it was wrong to assume that gold was the safest investment.

"On gold, I am happy that all my appeals are being heeded partly by the people of India. And I would still appeal to them. I would once again appeal to everyone please resist the temptation to buy gold......If I have one wish which the people of India can fulfill is don't buy gold," he told a news conference.

Modi praised the condition of the Indian economy during the NDA regime under the leadership of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"The nation is in darkness, we are in a huge economic crisis. Just look at Atalji's Government's economic figures, you will be proud," he said.

Modi, who has been appointed as the BJP's campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, also dared the ruling Congress Party for early polls.

To call early elections, a government needs to take a decision. If the government has not taken decision for nine years then how will they now?" he asked. (ANI)