Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday branded the government’s target of making India a $5 trillion economy in five years a “pie in the sky”.
He also said that there was nothing in the just unveiled budget for the middle class or firm action to raise household savings.
Taking part in a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, he sought to know from the government about proposed structural reforms and how it planned to spur economic growth and investment.
He hit out at the Modi government for the slow economic growth and poor performance on capital expenditure, terming the revenue targets for the current fiscal as unrealistic given the trends in FY19.
On the government’s target of making India a $5 trillion economy in five years, Chidambaram said people were being shown a “pie in the sky”.
Critical of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech, Chidambaram said it was bereft of macro economic data and advised her to do a fact check of various figures.
He said the calculation of the GDP for last fiscal year was different in the Economic Survey and the Budget document.
“Moreover, according to the Budget document, growth projection is set at 8 percent, while the Economic Survey says 7 percent. There is no unified picture of the growth rate from the government,” he said.
The former Minister also criticized the Budget for not giving specific and complete data about foreign direct investment (FDI) and loans written off for corporates.
He said that with 11-12 per cent nominal growth, the rate of the economy will continue to double every five or six years. “It is the magic of compounding.
“Any moneylender will be able to explain the same… It is simple arithmetic,” Chidambaram added.