PM Modi has been unusually silent on the economy and has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster, said the former FM
A day after getting released from Tihar jail on bail in the INX Media money laundering case, former finance minister P Chidambaram hit out at the Centre over the economic condition of the country.
In a press conference on December 5, Chidambaram said the government is wrong because it's clueless, unable to look for obvious clues as it is stubborn and mulish in defending its mistakes like demonetisation, GST, tax terrorism, regulatory overkill, protectionism and centralised control of decision-making in PMO.
He asked journalists to reflect on each of the charges that he has made and said he will speak, give interviews and write elaborately on each of them in the days to come.
"Nothing sums up state of the economy better than the following series of numbers- 8, 7, 6.6, 5.8, 5 and 4.5. Those are the quarterly growth rates of GDP in the last six quarters. The third and fourth quarters of 2019-20 are not likely to be any better. We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5 percent," said Chidambaram.
He further reminded everyone of Dr Arvind Subramanian's statement that "5 percent under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5 percent but less by about 1.5 percent."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been unusually silent on the economy and has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster, said the former FM. "The net result, as The Economist put it, is that the government has turned out to be an ‘incompetent manager’ of the economy," he said.
He slammed the government for calling the present economic slowdown 'cyclical'. "Thank god they have not called it ‘seasonal’. It is ‘structural’ and the government has no solutions or reforms that would address the structural problems," said Chidambaram.
Addressing the media, Chidambaram asked: Demand for MGNREGA is up. FMCG- both durable and non-durable are selling less. Wholesale prices are up. CPI is going up. Onions sell at Rs 100 a kg. What do these point to?"There is less demand among the people because they have less money and less appetite to consume due to uncertainty and fear. Unless demand increases, there will not be increased production/output or increased investment," he added.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.