New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram who was released from Tihar Jail after 106 days of confinement in the INX media money laundering case in a press conference on Thursday said, ''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.''
Attacking the current government on the current state of the economy, Chidambaram said, ''Prime Minister (Modi) 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.''
Chidambaram said the BJP government believed problems faced by the economy were cyclical even after seven months of this financial year.
"The government is clueless on economy, it is stubborn and mulish in defending catastrophic mistakes like demonetisation, flawed GST, tax terrorism,'' he said.
''We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5 pc. Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s caution that 5 pc under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5 pc but less by about 1.5 pc,'' he added.
Chidambaram also raised concern about the situation in Kashmir post the revocation of Article 370 and said, "As I stepped out and breathed the air of freedom at 8 pm last night, my first thought & prayers were for the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir Valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 4, 2019.'' He further said that given the chance he would visit Kashmir.
Chidambaram sais that he was particularly concerned about the political leaders who have been detained without charges. ''Freedom is indivisible, if we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom,'' he said.