UPA suspended DBT out of nervous, says Chidambaram

Chennai, Feb 28: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday, Feb 27 said the previous UPA government made a mistake in suspending the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme after 'vested interests' protested against it.

"We suspended DBT because vested interests started protesting and a committee was appointed (to go into it)," he said here at the launch of his book 'Standing Guard, one year in Opposition'.


Answering questions from the gathering over economy, he said the Committee in its report to the new (BJP) government said there was no justification for suspension and it wanted expansion and "now it has been rolled out all over the country."

"We were timid, we were nervous, and we suspended it (DBT) that was a mistake, similarly many things were put on hold like the NCTC ( National Counter Terrorism Centre)," he said in a candid admission.

Chidambaram also said he does not believe in retirement and worked for long hours as he enjoyed his work. "Well, I continue to work 16 to 17 hours a day, let me make that very clear, I work 16-17 hours a day because I enjoy working, I do not believe in retirement," he said.He made the remark after a participant in the function asked him how he looked "younger and fresher and its secret."

"I believe that at different stages of life, you do different things and I enjoy doing what I do, If I do not enjoy doing what I do, I will not do it." He said he enjoyed "writing, speaking, practice of law, healthy debates with very very knowledgeable people, meeting and discussing with young people.

"I think you should try talking and spending more time with young people and you might become younger." Replying to a question, he said, "in any country it is the duty of the majority people to ensure that minorities feel secure and the same thing applies to Pakistan where it is the duty of Pakistani majority to ensure that minority feels secure.

"In America, President after President, leader after leader impressed upon the people that it is the duty of majority people to ensure that black people got equal respect and opportunity. "It is the duty of Muslims to protect Hindus in Kashmir. When we go to Kashmir, we have said that it is the duty of Muslims to protect Hindu Pandits living in their village."


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