Back from Tihar, P Chidambaram says Govt incapable of reversing slowdown
New Delhi, Dec 05: Congress leader P Chidambaram, who has been released from Tihar Jail on bail after 106 days in custody in the INX Media money-laundering case, on Thursday said that the problem lies in the government's assumption that problems faced by the economy are cyclical.
Speaking to media, Chidambaram said, ''I am glad to speak to you exactly 106 days after I last spoke to you.'' Beginning his address by extending his prayers to the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir Valley "who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019, Chidamabaram said."I am particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges... we must fight for freedom.''
'My record as a minister and my conscience are absolutely clear. Officers who have worked with me, business persons who have interacted with me and journalists who have observed me know that very well.''
"The government is wrong. It is unable to look for the obvious clues because it is stubborn and mulish in defending its catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST, tax terrorism, regulatory overkill, protectionism, and centralized control of decision-making in the PMO. We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5 per cent. Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian's caution that 5 per cent under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5 per cent but less by about 1.5 per cent," the former finance minister said.
Questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the economy, Congress leader said,''Prime Minister has been unusually silent on the economy. He has left it to his ministers to indulge in bluff and bluster. The net result, as the Economist put it, is that the government has turned out to be an 'incompetent manager' of the economy.''
Speaking on the soaring prices of onion , the former finance minister said, "Wholesale prices are up. CPI is going up. Onions sell at Rs 100 a kg. What do these point to? There is less demand among the people because they have less money and less appetite to consume due to uncertainty and fear."
Chidambaram, who walked out of jail on Wednesday night, joined other Congress MPs voicing their protest against the steep hike in onion prices and said he was happy to be back.
Holding banners and shouting slogans demanding that the government reduce the prices and "stop harassing" the poor, the Congress MPs protested with a basket full of onions.
Chidambaram had spent 106 days in Tihar jail. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the INX Media money laundering case. The senior Congress leader had been in custody since August 21 when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media corruption case.