Despite 7.7% Growth Rate, P Chidambaram Calls Indian Economy A Car With 3 Tyres Punctured

| June 4 , 2018 , 09:24 IST

Despite the Indian economy posting a growth rate of 7.7 percent during the January-March quarter, becoming once again the fastest-growing major economy, former finance minister P Chidambaram on Sunday compared the Indian economy to a car with 3 punctured tyres.

"Private investment, private consumption, exports and government expenditures are four growth engines of an economy. It's like four tyres of a car. If one or two tyres are punctured, it will slow down but in our case, three tyres are punctured," the senior Congress leader said at an event organised by the Maharashtra Congress unit in Thane.

He claimed that government expenditure is only on healthcare and in some other amenities.

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"To keep this expenditure going on, the government has continued taxing petrol, diesel and even LPG. It is squeezing money from people in such taxes and spending some from it on public amenities," Chidambaram said.

"Post-demonstration this government has introduced GST with five tax slabs with a cess over it. In other countries, GST is just one tax system but we can have two types of taxation in India. Still, having five slabs is not what we had imagined about GST," he said.

"Industrial utilisation is mere 60 percent in the country. The export of merchandise, during the UPA was USD 315 billion, which was USD 303 billion last year. Before that, it was not even USD 300 billion. This shows we are not earning from exports too," Chidambaram said.

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The Congress leader also mocked the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana under which non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises can take up loans of up to Rs 10 lakh.

"The average amount of disbursed Mudra loan is Rs. 43,000 per person. No major investment can be done with such low amount, except one wants to run a Pakoda stall," Chidambaram said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's earlier statement that even selling 'pakodas' is also a form of employment.

"The BJP-led government has suddenly given a message to certain communities that they are second-rank citizens of this country. There is a lot of unrest over food habits, social behaviour, active anti-Romeo squads in the country," he said.