New Delhi: The EU budget for 2019-20 does not outline a clear roadmap to put India on the path of high economic growth and lacks bold steps and structural reforms, said congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday in Rajya Sabha.
Participating in the budget debate, the former finance minister said the country's economy is weak and needs strong steps to make progress in the area of rapid growth, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take.
He also called the speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "limp" and said the budget does not contain any measures to drive investments and savings.
Chidambaram downplayed the call of the Modi government to make India an economy of USD 5 trillion by 2024-25, claiming that the economy itself doubles as a result of the & # 39; magic of preparations & # 39; in six to seven years and no prime minister or finance minister required.
He tried to thwart the finance minister by saying that in her budget speech in Lok Sabha on July 5, she did not present macroeconomic data, including income from income.
Chidambaram said the finance minister should have mentioned numbers in her speech because people deserve to know broad figures because they don't go through attachments and other budget documents.
"I can't remember a budget speech so devoid of macro data," he said and urged the Ministry of Finance to ensure that important data is reported in the Budget Speech in the future.
"There is a goal of an economy of 5 trillion dollars, good, very good, I will give you better goals." In 1990-91 the Indian economy was 320 billion dollars, in 2003-04 it doubled to 618 billion dollars.
"Then came the UPA government from $ 618 billion, doubled to $ 1.2 trillion in four years, and doubled again to $ 2.48 trillion in September 2017. It will double to $ 5 in the next five years Prime Minister or a finance minister, it will double that is the magic of compounding, "he said, adding that every lender or borrower knows this.
He said that if the nominal growth of the economy is 12 percent, it is double in 6 years and if it grows by 11 percent, it will double in 7 years.
"So please don't put this pie in the air before people from the country say $ 5 trillion equals Chandrayan landing on the moon. $ 5 trillion is a simple arithmetic. So don't put this pie in the air. To reality .
"The economy is weak, the budget speech is boring, the weak economy needed a bold approach and I think the prime minister has enough willpower and determination to make daring decisions," he said.
Chidambaram said it was not necessary to say everything in the budget speech and expected that this government would come back to tell what structural reforms and bold steps they would take on how to improve investment, which is the only available engine to Stimulate India & # 39; s growth. 8 percent this year and 10 percent the following year.
"I fear that this budget will not inspire us to believe that this will happen, I can only call on the government to pay serious attention to what we are saying, in the spirit of sincere kindness to keep our economy going. Bold structural reforms done to stimulate economic growth, "noted the leader of the congress.
He was also disappointed that there was no clarity about the precise projections on GDP. Chidambaram said that GDP growth is projected in one place at 7 percent and in another place at 8 percent.
"One percent makes a big difference," he said, while the addition of the government, CGA and Chief Economic Advisor could not provide a uniform picture for current fiscal policy.
He further said that structural reforms are a must for achieving economic growth, but the budget is not talking about it.
"Show me a structural reform, there is none," he said.
He also screamed at the government's claim that India would be a USD 5 trillion economy.
The size of the economy is currently estimated at USD 2.7 trillion and is growing with nominal growth.
Arguing that there was a stagnation of gross fixed capital formation in the country, Chidambaram said that huge investments are needed to fire engines of growth. And domestic savings are relevant for investments.
"There is nothing in the budget to improve domestic savings," he said.
He also asked the government to set realistic revenue collection targets to achieve spending targets.
In a manifest error with former finance minister, Arun Jaitley, Chidambaram said that Sitharaman inherited a "wobbly economy" and accused the government of renouncing corporate loans worth Rs 5.55 lakh crore during the NDA-1 government.
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