Painting a grim picture ahead of the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the current slowdown in the country coupled with government apathy has badly hit the Indian economy. He was taking part in an interaction with businessmen, professionals and addressing the media in Mumbai's Churchgate at the MCA Lounge in Wankhede Stadium.
"There is gloom in the automobiles hub of Pune, slowdown has led to a large number of factories shutting down in Maharashtra. The state is hit by a grave economic crisis, but the government seems obsessed with trying to fix blame," said the former prime minister.
He also pointed out that from being No. 1 in investments, Maharashtra has now become No. 1 in farmers' suicides. “Every third youth is jobless in the state. Distress facing rural areas will only add to the unemployment problem as migration increases. Maharashtra used to be Number 1 in attracting investment, today is number 1 in farmer suicides,” Manmohan Singh said.
He urged for setting up labour-intensive industries, among other measures, to tackle the economic crises.
Referring to the recent PMC bank crisis, Dr Manmohan Singh appealed to the Maharashtra CM, the PM and the Finance Minister to look into this matter urgently and resolve the grievances of the affected 16 Lakh people. At the conference, a delegation of 15 PMC Bank depositors also met Singh on Thursday.
Commenting on the bank fraud, the former prime minister said, “Hope this issue (PMC Bank crisis) figures prominently in the Winter session of Parliament next month. RBI is a great national institution. Do hope and trust it applies its mind to find credible solutions… PM, govt of Maharashtra and FM should also apply their mind to find a solution.”