Budget 2020: Govt has given up on economy, claim of 6-6.5% growth ‘astonishing’, says P Chidambaram

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Updated: Feb 01, 2020 5:43 PM

Budget 2020 India: The Congress leader accused the FM Sitharaman of ignoring reform ideas in the Economic Survey. He said: "The government does not believe in reforms and certainly not in structural reforms, The FM has outright rejected every — and I repeat, every — reform idea contained in the Economic Survey."

Union Budget 2020 India: Congress leader P Chidamabaram said there was nothing in the budget that could lead people to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21.

Budget 2020-21: Hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam presented the budget for the financial year 2020-21, the Congress said that the government has given up on reviving the economy or accelerating the growth rate or creating jobs for the people. It said that the government was in complete denial that the economy was facing a grave macroeconomic challenge and the growth rate had declined in six successive quarters. Addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader P Chidamabaram said there was nothing in the budget that could lead people to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21. “The claim of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth next year is astonishing and even irresponsible,” he said.

Highlighting the current crisis, the former FM said that the Indian economy was demand-constrained and investment-starved. However, the Finance Minister has not acknowledged these two challenges, and that is a pity. “Consequently, she has proposed no measures or solutions to those two challenges. If the twin challenges remain, the economy will not turn around and there will be no relief to the millions of poor and the middle class,” he added.

Chidamabaram also said that food subsidy has been reduced, fertilizer subsidy has been reduced, petroleum subsidy shows a marginal increase because of the anticipated increase in oil prices. “It appears that the people will not get any relief on the price front. Please remember that CPI inflation is over 7 per cent and food inflation is over 10 per cent…the Finance Minister failed miserably on marksmanship. In 2019-20 (the current year), she failed to meet any of the key BE targets — nominal GDP growth, fiscal deficit, net tax revenue collection, disinvestment revenue or total expenditure. There is no assurance that she will meet the targets set for 2020-21,” the former finance minister said.

The Congress leader also accused the FM Sitharaman of ignoring reform ideas in the Economic Survey. He said: “The government does not believe in reforms and certainly not in structural reforms, The FM has outright rejected every — and I repeat, every — reform idea contained in the Economic Survey.”

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