'FM should do his homework properly on NDA performance': BJP

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New Delhi, Jun 7 (UNI) Taking exception to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement that the BJP-NDA legacy was the hallmark of low growth rate and unsound fiscal management, the BJP today advised the FM to do his homework properly as a factually incorrect picture from him about the economy would show him in extremely poor light.

''Mr Chidambaram may be a good lawyer, but he should have done his homework well before making such statement,'' BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad told newspersons.

He quoted the Economic Survey brought out by the Finance Minister for 2003-04 and Mr Chidambaram's own Budget presented before Parliament one-and-a-half months after the UPA government came to power. The Survey, he said, had conceded that ''the scenario for the period was in a 'resilient mode' in terms of growth, inflation and balance of payment, a combination that offered large scope for consolidation of growth momentum with continued macro-economic stability.'' The Survey presented by Mr Chidambaram also stated that the economy enjoyed the benefits of relatively low inflation with comfortable stocks of food grains, enhanced competition in product markets and an appropriate mix of fiscal and monetary policies. The country had seen 9.1 per cent agricultural growth, one of the highest in recent years, reflecting growth in physical production, remunerative prices for the produce after a year of drought in 2002-03.

He said Mr Chidambaram in his Budget speech for 2004-05 had stated that ''economic fundamentals appeared strong and the balance of payments robust one and a half months after he became UPA's Finance Minister. This is the time when the new governments dig out the skeletons in the cupboards of the previous government,'' Mr Prasad said.

It was obvious that from what Mr Chidambaram had stated in Parliament, his yesterday's statement that the NDA regime was marked by low growth was patently false, and misleading. At a time when Congress President had derided the NDA's eight per cent target as 'Mungeri Lal ke haseen sapne' (day-dreaming) in Parliament, Mr Chidambaram himself had conceded in his 2004-05 economic survey that the country had registred a 8.5 per cent growth, the highest ever, except in the years of 1975-76, 1988-89.

The growth did not happen overnight but India had braved economic sanctions imposed by the western countries after Pokhran II tests, Kargil conflict and droughts in 14 states of the country. There were massive calamities like earthquake in Gujarat and cyclone in Orissa, he added.

He said the BJP had time and again stated that the UPA government had messed up the food economy, rising prices of essential commodities and inflation.


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