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BJP’s policy blunders causing farm distress, unemployment, economic failure: Chidambaram

Chidambaram alleged that there was distress in various sections of society, including farmers, who were not getting remunerative prices of their produce, and the youth due to joblessness.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2018 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Former finance minister P Chidambaram said the RBI’s confidence survey stated that 48 per cent felt that the economic situation of the country had worsened in the last 12 months.(PTI File Photo)

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday criticised the government’s handling of the economy, saying its wrong policies had led to farm distress, unemployment and trouble for banks.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Chidambaram said a flawed road to goods and services tax and the adverse effect of demonetisation were hurting various sectors of the economy.

“The three of the four wheels on which the economy rides are punctured. Firstly exports, the growth rate in the last four years has been negative. Secondly, private investment, it is in the doldrums, if not dead. Gross fixed capital formation is stuck at 28.5% for three years. Thirdly, private consumption, it was limping until a few months ago, there is a mild up-pick, and we keep our fingers crossed,” the senior Congress leader said.

Chidambaram said that there was widespread distress, including among farmers who were not getting remunerative prices of their produce, and the youth due to joblessness.

“The only tyre that seems to be inflated is government expenditure, but here, too, the government’s options are getting limited because of the pressure on the current account deficit and the fiscal deficit,” he said.

The Congress leader alleged that joblessness was on the rise and there was anger in campuses across the country because young men and women knew there would be no jobs when they graduate.

“So far nobody has bought the innovative idea that ‘frying pakoras is also a job’,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark which he has targeted in the past as well.

Calling the banking system bankrupt, Chidambaram said credit growth dipped drastically from 13.8% to 5.4% before recovering somewhat in 2017-18.

Dismissing Chidambaram’s charges as baseless and irresponsible, minister for human resource development Prakash Javdekar said, “Today, former finance minister P Chidambaram questioned the Indian economy and so I would like to bring to his notice that ours is the fastest growing economy in the world.”

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 12:38 IST