Chennai: Mounting a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government and finance minister Arun Jaitley, former Union finance minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said the Budget 2018 has failed the people of the country in all fronts. It will find place in history for breaking every fiscal target and for “jumla” (gimmick).
“The government has ignored the context in which the budget should be presented. It appears to have no purpose at all except to win an election… reports indicate the government will advance elections to September/ October. We need to ask whether this Budget has done anything for any section of the people,” Mr Chidambaram said. Speaking on “Budget 2018-An Analysis” at the Loyola Institute of Business Administration here on Saturday Mr. Chidambaram said, “this budget failed the test of fiscal consolidation, promoting welfare, relieving agriculture distress and promoting employment, taken as a whole it has failed people of India.”
It will find a place in the history for breaching every fiscal target he said and alleged that the Centre had encouraged a proxy borrowing to the tune of Rs 37,000 crore and the additional borrowings of Rs 85,000 crore would go into the revenue expenditure. “The government is not only a reckless borrower but also a reckless spender and had misjudged the context and overlooked the people. The hallmark of budget is courage and rhetoric, focused less on agriculture,” Mr Chidambaram said and added there is something that the Centre is hiding and doesn't want to share.
The year 2019 will see lower growth and higher inflation. It has failed in every major challenges, though it was forewarned by the chief economic advisor Arvind Subramaniam. “The patient is very very ill and you have failed in agriculture, education, health and social welfare and why the heck are you continuing in office,” Mr Chidambaram asked. Highlighting the farmers' plight, he said, “the government is doing MSP Jumla on farmers. Jumla in jobs, health and welfare. Jumla will be a new contribution to the Oxford English dictionary,” he said....