Senior Congress leader and former Finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday took on the government for presenting a ‘disappointing’ budget and termed demonetisation ‘a terrible’ decision.
"This (demonetisation) is the biggest scam of 2016. Where did they get these notes from? Did these go directly from the RBI press to them," Chidambaram said while participating in the discussion on Budget in the Rajya Sabha.
"This means that corruption and black money have thrived after demonetisation. The NSSO says 15 crore people in this country are daily wage earners. Around 25.5 crore workers are daily income earners. Forty crore people were completely devastated by demonetisation for eight weeks. These 40 crore people may forgive you, but they won't forget the experience," he said.
"Why should you demonetise and then remonetise?" he asked.
He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘raincoat’ jibe at former PM Manmohan Singh.
"The PM should remember that the chair he sat on was used by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and even Atal Bihari Vajpayee and hence he should use right language," Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram said the government had inherited an economy that in the last two years of the UPA rule had grown by 6.1 and 6.9 per cent.
"The average for the 10-year period is 7.5 per cent. India is among the fastest growing large economies in the world. But through 2016-17, you made a series of mistakes, capped by the most terrible mistake," he said.
Terming the Budget a ‘great disappointment’, he said, “I am extremely disappointed with the Budget. It is a damp squib. There is no relief to any section of society. Youth are disappointed as they don't see any hope.”
"There is nothing special for farmers. You have introduced Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna to provide the farmers a decent funeral. 75 per cent of small and medium sector units have closed down. Don't blame us for that. Go and listen to your Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh on what they are saying about job creation and the situation on the ground," he added.