Former finance minister PC Chidambaram on Saturday said the Narendra Modi government was continuing initiatives and policies of the Congress-led UPA II government, while expressing serious concerns about the country’s economic growth.
Claiming credit for the 5.7% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the first quarter, Chidambaram said GDP results for the second quarter due in November and third quarter is expected to be low.
“The momentum of what we did from 2012 to 2014 took the economy forward during the first quarter. But the RBI governor has hinted that the second quarter results will be worse than the first. Statements made in the budget have not translated into a policy, cabinet decision or an action plan,” said Chidambaram.
He added, “The government has wound up the planning commission; chief economic advisor’s position is not filled. Where are the independent economists in the government who can throw up ideas?”
Stating that PM Narendra Modi was still in an election mode and campaigning like the Gujarat chief minister, Chidambaram said, “He cannot take Gujarat out of him, and is settled as the Gujarat prime minister. He is the prime minister of India and therefore people have the right to ask him what he has accomplished so far.”
Chidambaram said the BJP government dusted, renamed and re-launched two major UPA initiatives – Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan and Jan Dhan Yojana – in addition to inaugurating projects started during the Congress government such as the Mars mission or road projects in Maharashtra. “I am told he will soon re-launch the national skill development mission,” he added.
Pointing out there are serious issues on governance with many posts lying vacant, Chidambaram said, “The government took rash decisions to get members out from important posts. But there have been no replacements.”