New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Accusing the government of being in a denial mode amid the economy facing grave challenges, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram here on Saturday said the people didn’t deserve such a budget for voting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power.
“The government is in complete denial that the economy faces a grave macro economic challenge and the growth rate has declined in the six successive quarters. There is nothing in the budget that could make us believe that growth will revive in 2020-21,” Chidambaram said.
“The claim of 6-6.5. per cent growth next year is astonishing and irresponsible. The government has given up on reviving the economy and accelerating the growth rate. It’s not promoting private investment or increasing efficiency and creating jobs,” the Congress leader said.
Stating that the Indian economy is demand-constrained and investment-starved, Chidambaram said the Finance Minister didn’t acknowledge these two challenges. As she had not proposed any solutions to them, the economy would not turn around and there would not be any relief to the millions of poor and the middle class, the former Finance Minister said.
The Congress also criticised reduction in food and fertiliser subsidies. Petroleum subsidy has shown a marginal increase because of anticipated oil price rise. The people were unlikely to get any relief on the price front, he said stating the CPI inflation was over 7 per cent and food inflation over 10 per cent.
“The government doesn’t believe in reforms, including structural ones, as the Finance Minister has rejected every reform idea contained in the Economic Survey,” Chidambaram said.