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Manmohan-Singh-Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Left) with former PM Dr Manmohan Singh (File Photo)

The government’s announcement that farmers’ income would be doubled in the next five years is an “impossible idea”, former prime minister and noted economist Manmohan Singh said on Monday.

He termed the general budget for 2016-17 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as one with “no big idea”.

“It is a nit-picking budget. There is no big idea except one that was mentioned yesterday (Sunday) by the prime minister himself, that the government plans to double the farmers’ income in the next five years.

“I think it is an impossible dream and there is no inclination, no way of telling the country how it will be achieved because it implies a 14 percent annual increase in the farm income in each of the five years,” Singh told NDTV.

He said he was “glad” that the finance minister had stood by the fiscal targets outlined by him last year, “but they have to reconcile with the expenditure statements that he has made and it is far from clear whether they are consistent with the path of consolidation outlined by him”.

Jaitley presented the general budget for 2016-17 in parliament on Monday.