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‘It is nothing but a white lie paper’, says Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram.
| Photo Credit: ANI

The White Paper by the Narendra Modi government on the state of the economy under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a “hatchet job” and “a white lie paper,” former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram asserted on February 9.

“It is a white lie paper. Even the authors will not claim that it is an academic, well-researched or scholarly paper. It is a political exercise intended to damn the previous government and hide the present government’s broken promises, monumental failures and betrayal of the poor,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

Parliament Budget Session – February 9 updates

The former Finance Minister said no other government had made so many “wild promises” as the Modi government and then broken them “without an expression of regret”.

Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that the Modi government had promised two crore jobs every year, bring back black money parked abroad in 100 days, put ₹15 lakh in every citizen’s bank account, bring down prices of petrol, diesel at ₹35 a litre, build 100 smart cities by 2022, double farmers’ income, house to every family by 2022 and achieve a $5 trillion economy by 2023-24.

“In fact, the government laughed them away as election jumlas,” he said, adding, “The paper released today is not a white paper; it is a paper that is intended to whitewash the many sins and commissions of the NDA government in the last 10 years”.

Also Read | Congress ‘black paper’ on ‘Modi government’s failures’ focuses on unemployment and neglect of non-BJP States

Fiscal deficit

Giving a comparative analysis, the former Finance Minister said fiscal deficit was 4.5% in the last year of the UPA regime and 5.8% in the last year of the NDA; household saving as percentage of GDP was 23% under the UPA and 19% under the NDA; national debt under the UPA was ₹58.6 lakh crore while it is ₹173.3 lakh crore under the NDA.

“The Indian economy recorded the ‘golden period of growth’ in the three years between 2005-06 and 2007-08 when the GDP grew at 9% or more at an average of 9.5%,” he added.

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