Rahul Gandhi criticizes demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), two policies often boasted by the Indian Government

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In this speech in Berkeley, Rahul Gandhi said that demonetization was a ‘self-inflicted’ wound’ and GST was ‘hastily applied.’

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said on Monday that the Modi administration has failed in its two most touted policies – demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

While addressing students at the University of California, Berkeley, Gandhi said, “Government’s economic policy of demonetisation and the hastily implemented GST has caused tremendous pressure on the economy.”

He said that it costed the country a two percent loss in the gross domestic product (GDP). “Decisions like demonetisation which removed 86 per cent of cash from circulation were done unilaterally, without asking the Chief Economic Advisor or the Cabinet or even Parliament, it (demonetisation) caused tremendous damage,” he added.

Gandhi, 47, also mentioned the murder of veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was killed recently inside her home in Bengaluru. “Hatred, anger and violence and the politics of polarization which has raised its ugly head in India today, “ Gandhi said. “Violence and hatred distract people from the task at hand. Liberal journalists being shot, people being lynched because they are Dalits, Muslims killed on suspicion of eating beef, this is new in India and damages India very badly.”

Referring to the stark contrast between the demand and supply of jobs in India, Gandhi said 33,000 youngsters join the job market every day; however, only 500 jobs are created daily. “The decline in economic growth today is worrying and its leading to an upsurge of anger in the country.”

Gandhi warned that if the current economic and employment scenario continues, it would be detrimental to India as well as the world. “If we continue at the current rate, if India cannot give the millions of people entering the job market employment, anger will increase and it has the potential to derail what is being built so far,” he said. “That will be catastrophic for India and the world beyond it.”