Publish White Paper on economy: Jaya to Govt

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Chennai, Nov 24: J Jayalalithaa, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary demanded that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance(UPA) Government come out with a comprehensive White Paper on the management of the national economy.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the difficult economic and political times in the nation, Ms Jayalalithaa, in a statement here, demanded that the white paper provide inter-alia details of why the Government could not foresee the global meltdown. The Government should also explain why the Indian establishment could not provide the necessary corrective steps to counter these developments and why both the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister repeatedly wanted integration of the Indian economy to the global economy when the global economy itself was in an extreme state of imbalance.

The UPA Government also owed an explanation as to why it was obsessed with the Stock Markets?, she said, adding ''these are important questions that need to be answered and cannot be dismissed by Mr Chidambaram.

''Mr Chidambaram behaved as if he was the minister for Stock Markets. Later, when things became too hot, he took up the new post of spokesperson for SEBI and RBI. Today he is reduced to the ignominy of being a sales representative of sections of Indian corporates,'' she alleged.

Ms Jayalalithaa said the economic mismanagement of the country must worry every single individual concerned about the nation. ''In my opinion, this mismanagement is part of a grand global design by external forces to destabilise the Indian economy and leave a pauperised treasury to the next Government,'' she alleged.

The AIADMK supremo also alleged that the UPA Government has sadly fallen prey to the machinations of these external forces.

Unfortunately, large sections of the media, intellectuals, business houses, professionals and of course political parties have remained silent on these vital issues, she added.

Referring to Mr Chidambaram's call to Indian business houses to cut prices of their products and services to enable consumers to do more shopping, Ms Jayalalithaa said his idea was exposed within hours when large sections of the Indian Industry rejected it as one that was not feasible in the current context. ''His war dance of monetary intervention by cutting the CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) and SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) are merely aimed at providing liquidity to the foreign investors to exit smoothly from India as all these measures have only provided the necessary liquidity to these foreign players,'' she claimed.

None of these measures have caused even a marginal impact on the Indian economy in this time of extreme distress, Ms Jayalalithaa said.

She said the nation has lost faith in the overall economic management of the UPA government, notably Mr Chidmbaram, who continued to be obsessed with the stock markets. ''In his anxiety to shore up the sagging fortunes of the stock markets, he even went to the extent of interfering in the independence of SEBI and RBI by revealing certain policy interventions that were to be brought about by these institutions, she added.

The AIADMK supremo said ''Yet, the stock market indices continue to fall. It is inexplicable that the Rupee continues to slide even against a weak US Dollar. Infrastructure growth has virtually come to a grinding halt. So has industrial production.'' This dramatic fall in the economy needs to be understood in the context of both the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister repeatedly assuring the nation that everything was fine even as recently as a few months back.

Ms Jayalalithaa said while the intelligence failure of the UPA Government on terrorism was well known, the economic intelligence failure is equally baffling. ''Why is it that the State apparatus with all its economists could not predict the fall of the global economy? Why is it that we were totally unprepared for this global meltdown? Why is it that the Government does not come clean on its handling of the economy in the past few years?, she asked.

The answers to these questions were not far to seek, she said, adding people of this country may well recall that for every 'correction' in the stock market during the 'Bull Run' till early 2008, it was the Finance Minister, who instantly appeared in the national media, urging investors to stay invested.

''One never knew till now that the duties of the Finance Minister, included rendering personal investment advice to investors. And now, amidst this fiscal chaos caused by his own economic mismanagement, the suave and cheerful Mr Chidambaram wants the private sector to cut prices and people to continue to invest in shares! Even Nero was more sensitive,'' she said.

It may be further noted that the 'Futures Trading' by an unscrupulous mafia, combined with rampant, unbridled hoarding and high fuel prices have pushed up the prices of all essential commodities beyond the reach of the common man, she alleged.

''Even vegetables have become unaffordable. No effort is taken by the State Government or the Centre to bring out hoarded essential commodities or to get their prices reduced. Ignoring these basic needs of the 110 crore Indian people, Mr Chidambaram is now focusing on selling cars, luxury products and real estate as a means to lift the falling GDP of the Indian economy,'' she added.

UNI

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