Former Finance Minister and Congress veteran leader has said a flawed road to GST continues to haunt trade and business, and the adverse effect of demonetization have been established 'beyond doubt'.
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.
"The tyres of three of the four wheels on which the economy rides are punctured. Firstly exports: the growth rate in the last four years have 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 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 claimed that joblessness was rampant and there was a great ferment in campuses across the country because young men and women knew that there would be no job when they graduate. "So far nobody has bought the innovative idea that 'frying pakoras is also a job'," he quipped.
Chidambaram said demonetisation had caused the growth rate to decline from 8.2 per cent in 2015-16 to 6.7 per cent in 2017-18.
“The Tamil Nadu government has officially acknowledged that 50,000 MSME units were shut down in the state in 2017-18; 5,00,000 jobs were lost; and capital investment in the MSME sector declined by Rs 11,000 crore,” he said.
Chidambaram said the social security laws and programmes have been neglected by the BJP-led central government.
“The Food Security Act has not been implemented. MGNREGA is no longer demand-driven, wage arrears have mounted. Crop Insurance covers barely 30 per cent of farmers, it is a windfall for insurers. Health Protection Scheme is another ‘jumla’,” he said.
In response of Former Finance Minister Questions Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar responded angrily and he said, "Today, Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram questioned the Indian economy & so I would like to bring to his notice that our's is the fastest growing economy in the world".
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