Economy
18 Questions
The former finance minister poses pointed queries to the finance minister P. Chidambaram on the state of the economy, which the latter described as "puerile"
COMMENTS PRINT

1. Is it a fact that you inherited a fairly healthy economy in 1996 when you became the Finance Minster for the first time in the United Front Government? Is it also a fact that during your 2 year tenure you brought down the economic growth rate to 4.5 percent in 1997-98?

2. Is it a fact that as Finance Minister of the UPA-I government you inherited a robust economy which grew at the rate of 8 percent in 2003-04?

3. Is it a fact that in the Economic Survey presented by you to Parliament in July 2004 you said “the economy appears to be resilient mode in terms of growth, inflation, balance of payments, a combination that offers large scope for consolidation of the growth momentum with continued macro economic stability”?

4. Is it a fact that after 10 years of misrule by the UPA government economic growth rate has once again slowed down drastically, that the GDP growth rate has registered a mere 4.7 percent YOY in the October-December quarter of 2013-14, that this is seventh consecutive quarter below the 5 percent mark, that manufacturing and mining registered a decline of 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent during the quarter; that the growth rate would have been worse but for a 7 percent increase in the personal, community and social services category which reflects irresponsible government spending rather than real economic expansion?

5. Is it a fact that the high growth rate witnessed during the first four years of the UPA-I was largely on account of the measures initiated by the NDA government and not because of any steps taken by the UPA government, that you really harvested what was sown by us?

6. Is it a fact that for purely electoral considerations you allowed the fiscal deficit to cross all limits of sustainability in 2008-09 through unproductive and irresponsible government spending from which the budget of the Government of India has not recovered yet.

7. Is it a fact that you have drastically reduced plan and productive allocations in the budget and taken recourse to questionable means to maintain fiscal deficit around 5 percent of the GDP and that you made a mockery of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act?

8. Is it a fact that consumer price inflation has averaged around 10 percent per annum between 2008 and 2013, that this is the highest inflation rate in any major economy in the world and has persisted despite slowing growth, that high inflation has pushed millions of Indian below the poverty line?

9. Is it a fact that continued high inflation has forced the Reserve Bank of India to raise interest rates repeatedly which has had a deleterious effect on investment?

10.. Is it a fact that you have rapidly pushed India into a morass of external debt, that the country’s external debt has jumped from USD 139 billion in end March 2006 to US 426 billion in end December 2013. That in 2006 India was net lender as foreign exchange was 109 percent of external debt, that now we have become a significant net debtor as reserves cover only 69 percent of our external debt, that short term external debt has jumped from 12.9 percent of forex reserves to 31.5 percent between March 2006 and December 2013

11. Is it a fact the International Monetary Fund has used the following terms to describe the state of the Indian economy “unprecedented widening of India’s current account deficit, macro-economic imbalances, structural weaknesses, high inflation, large fiscal deficit, binding supply constraints”?

12. Is it a fact that there has been a sharp deterioration in the asset quality of the banking sector, that a study by ASSOCHAM suggests that gross NPAs have jumped 27 percent in just 6 months from 1,79,891 crore in end March 2013 to Rs.2,29,007 crore in end September 2013 and that the biggest deterioration is in the case of nationalized bank for which you are directly responsible.

13. Is it a fact that corruption, policy paralysis and administrative sloth has led to a situation where according to a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance 400 projects worth 17.86 lakh crore in power, steel, coal, mining and petroleum were pending with the Cabinet Committee on Investment for clearance in December 2013; that policy and bureaucratic logjam has impacted 78000 megawatt power production in coal and gas based power plants causing a loss of Rs.42,000 crore?

14. Is it a fact that your government had promised to build 22 kilometres of national highways per day when it was returned to power in 2009 and that it has been able to build 1.5 kilometres per day and that the NHAI chief has directly blamed the government for the woes which afflict this sector?

15. Is it a fact that as a result of slow down in the economy there has been a massive decline in employment opportunities; that according to the NSSO survey while over 6 crore employment opportunities were created between 1999-2000 to 2004-2005 and only 1.5 crore employment opportunities were created between 2004-05 to 2011-12?

16. Is it a fact that while all sectors of the economy have been pushed into crisis by the UPA government the worst affected is agriculture and the Indian farmer, that despite record production of food grains the farmer is still compelled to commit suicides in thousands every year; that you have failed to cover all the farmers under the Kisan Credit Card scheme which could have enabled them to save themselves from such suicides?

17. Is it a fact that you have been made Finance Minister of India thrice and that every time you have ended up running the economy to the ground and weakened the foundations of the Indian economy?

18. Is it a fact that the markets have celebrated your announcement of not standing for elections; that on March 19, 2014 when you made this announcement the BSE sensex shot up by 125 points, that the forex market was also delighted and the rupee has strengthened considerably against the dollar since then?

The fact of the matter is Sri Chidambaram that you will be remembered by history as a spoiler, as some one who specializes in sub 5 percent growth rate, for your hubris and for your baseless tall claims which you do not tire of making even today. Your words and statements have lost all credibility.

COMMENTS PRINT

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