New Delhi, Dec 5: Former Finance minister P Chidambaram directly attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the economic slowdown and had left his ministers to indulge in “bluff and bluster”.
“The Prime Minister has been unusually silent on the economy. He has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. The net result, as The Economist put it, is that the government has turned out to be an ‘incompetent manager’ of the economy,” Chidambaram, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Wednesday in the INX Media money laundering case, told media here.
He also called the government “wrong, stubborn and mulish” in defending “catastrophic” mistakes. “The government is making mistakes. It is wrong. Let me repeat, the government is wrong and they are wrong because they are clueless,” said the former finance minister.
“Even after seven months into the fiscal year, the BJP government believes that the problems faced by the economy are cyclical. The government is wrong. It is wrong because it is clueless. Government’s catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST, tax terrorism, regulatory overkill, protectionism, and centralized control of decision-making in the PMO,” Chidambaram said.
Talking about the quarterly growth rates of GDP, he said, “The third and fourth quarters of 2019-20 are not likely to be any better. We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5 per cent. And please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s caution that 5 per cent under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5 per cent but less by about 1.5 per cent.