BJP govt is clueless about economy: P Chidambaram

BJP govt is clueless about economy: P Chidambaram
NEW DELHI: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday, training his guns at the Centre, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government is clueless about the economy and added that India will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%.

GDP growth falls below 5%, to 4.5%, lowest since March 2013

India's economy grew at its slowest pace in 26 quarters in the July-September period of the current fiscal year, dragged down by contraction in the crucial manufacturing sector. Data released by National Statistical Office showed GDP grew by 4.5% in the September quarter, the lowest since the 4.3% expansion in the January-March quarter of 2012-13.

"Government is clueless on economy; It is stubborn, mulish in defending catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST," said the Union minister at a press conference in the national capital on Thursday.

Calling economic slowdown a man-made catastrophe, Chidambaram said: "The PM has been unusually silent on economy, has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster."

"Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%," the former finance minister added.

Addressing his first press conference since coming out of Tihar jail on Wednesday + , Chidambaram said that the economy can be brought out of slowdown, "but this government incapable of doing it." He said that even after 7 months of this fiscal, the BJP govt is wrong in believing that problems faced by economy are cyclical.

"Congress, some other parties better equipped to pull economy out of slowdown, but we have to wait for better times," the former finance minister said.