Ahmedabad: Blaming demonetisation for rampant job losses, Manmohan Singh in an event in Ahmedabad said the textile sector in Surat had to face 21,000 layoffs.
“60,000 looms were discarded in Surat. On an average 35 jobs were lost per loom amounting to 21,000 losses in the city in one specific sector alone,” said Singh.
The former Prime Minister began his speech by blaming demonetisation for more than 100 lives lost “during the chronic days”.
Singh went on to describe the BJP-led government’s demonetisation exercise as a reckless step and that scrapping higher value currency notes was organised loot and legalised plunder.
“As I said in the Parliament, demonetisation was organised loot and legalised plunder,” he said during his visit to poll-bound Gujarat.
The senior Congress leader also criticised the fact that 99% of the cash came back into bank accounts, “puncturing the idea of eliminating black money”.
Hitting out at the government over the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax, Singh said compliance requirements under GST had become a nightmare for small businesses.
“GST broke the back of the informal sector and seriously impacted the medium and small industries sector,” added Singh.
He also criticised the Centre’s ambitious Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project and dubbed it an exercise in vanity.
Singh’s visit comes a day before Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to tour Surat on the anniversary of the government’s announcement of the demonetisation exercise. Opposition parties are observing ‘black day’ on Wednesday.