Indian economy at the doorstep of ICU: P Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram says the Central government may seek former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s help for bail out
Hyderabad: Likening the economic condition of the country with a patient, former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said that the patient was at the doorstep of the Intensive Care Unit and the doctor may throw his hands up in air anytime.
Addressing a meeting on the Union Budget at Muffakam Jah Engineering College, being organised by All India Congress Committee Research Cell, he said that the government may turn up to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for bail out.
PCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and other leaders participated in it. The former Union Finance minister said that the country is constrained in both demand and investment. He said that the demand for the goods has come down by 22 per cent and investors are not ready to make investments.
"Though companies like Infosys and others have piles of money they are not ready to invest. The production capacities have come down drastically. The power plants have been operating with 55 per cent PLF," he said.
Chidambaram said that the Centre could not spend the allocations made to various schemes due to lack of money. It was unable to realize the targets of revenue. Most of the sectors have been recording a negative growth and this has adversely affected the revenue collections. He said that the consumer price index which was 1.99 per cent in January, 2019 reached to 7.4 per cent by December, 2019.
He said that the Finance Minister in her 160 minutes of speech did not acknowledge the state of the economy. "She may not be allowed by the government to reveal the facts," Chidambaram said.
He said that when Manmohan Singh took over the Finance portfolio in 1991, he has informed the state of the economy to the Parliament and informed about the corrective measures. But the same candor was absent in the present Finance Minister.
He said that two blunders have been committee by the NDA government while the Indian economy was performing well. "I thought that the going was good in 2015-16 as the growth rate was about 6.5 per cent. But the government committed the first big blunder, demonetisation. The second blunder was faulty implementation of GST," he said.
He said that the two decisions have ruined the entire economy. Industries have been closed. The showrooms of branded goods have worn empty look. Only eateries are buzzing with people.
He said that it was Aravind Subrahmanyam, former economic advisor of the Union government who said that Indian economy was in ICU. He said that 2016-17 was demonetisation year, 2017-18 was GST year, 2018-19 was disaster and 2019-20 was a waste year.
Chidambaram said that the government would not be able to realize the targets of revenue and expenditure. It has proposed revenue of Rs 16 lakh crores in 2019-20 and the actual presented to Parliament was Rs 15 lakh crores. However, after May it may go down further.
He said that the fiscal deficit being presented by the Finance Minister was false and no company in the country was ready to accept them. He said that collection of corporate tax was down by Rs 1.56 lakh crores, custom collection by Rs 30,000 crores, excise by 55,000 crores, and GST by 51,000 crores.
Chidambaram said that the government has cut down the expenditure on several schemes and agriculture and food distribution sectors have suffered heavily. The subsidies on food have been reduced by Rs 76,000 crores.