Demonetization was launched in 2016 and GST was launched in mid-2017. Manmohan Singh has expressed his reservations and his argument is that demonetization and GST combined to create a liquidity crunch in the economy. His argument is also that GST hit the small and medium sized businesses in a big way and that led to the slowdown in the Indian economy. Dr. Singh has called this slowdown cyclical and structural.

While the reservations expressed by Dr. Singh are largely justified, we need to remember that the currency levels in the economy today are above the pre-demonetization levels. Regarding GST, at some point you need to make an effort to organize businesses and broaden revenue base. These things should sort out in the longer term. However, you must look at some of the suggestions made by Dr. Singh and they can give some good insights for the current government also. Dr. Singh has suggested 5 ways to revive growth.

· He has called for rationalisation of GST rates and these rates are actually skewed in case of sectors like auto. Billing them 28% is just adding to costs. Rationalization of GST rates will improve compliance and also revenues.

· Dr. Singh has also called for a push to rural consumption. This will be instrumental in reviving the agri sector and the government must use this opportunity to free up agricultural markets from the traditional yoke.

· To address the liquidity crisis he has suggested special lines of credit for NBFCs to reduce their vulnerability. This will give a big push to liquidity in the system.

· Focus on job creating sectors like textiles, auto, retailing; subsidized housing etc is a must as it is like hitting two birds with one stone. It reduces joblessness in the economy and also pushes up demand for goods and services due to higher income.

· Finally, Dr. Singh has also called for an export thrust. Dr. Singh has spoken about de-risking the export model from the US and China and also to have a policy paper on export potential sectors like textiles, jewellery etc.

However, you must not forget that slowdown in growth is a global phenomenon and when the entire world is slowing it is practically not possible to revive growth by stimulus alone.