Mumbai: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today asserted it is the result of efforts of the earlier UPA government that the economy is now showing signs of recovery.
“When the first quarter GDP results came out, at 5.7 per cent, I said it was because of the work done by the UPA government and I maintain it,” Chidambaram told reporters.
“It is what we did in 2012, 2013 and up to March 2014. The momentum of what we did continued to take the economy forward,” he said.
The senior Congress leader doubted whether the new BJP government would be able to maintain the momentum of recovery.
“When I am the driver, my foot is on the accelerator, and the car is moving at a certain pace but it cannot run forever. The momentum will take the car till a certain distance,” he said.
“In the first quarter of 2014-15, we got 5.7 per cent growth rate. But after that, specially after May 26 (when Modi government came to power), we want to ask, is your foot on the accelerator at all,” he said.
The former Finance Minister seized upon RBI governor Raghuram Rajan's remark that the second quarter would be worse than the first to target the government over “extravagant claims”.
“What have you done to continue the momentum beyond the first quarter? There is no answer. The answer will come on November 30 when the second quarter results are there. The RBI governor said in Washington yesterday that the second quarter will be worse than the first quarter,” he said.
“I am not saying it will be better or worse. I am just pointing out what RBI governor has said. I want to ask the PM: Why is it so? Why is the momentum not being maintained?
“What have you done in the last 140 days? You made several promises and continue to make several extravagant claims,” he said.
He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his poll promise to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks, saying, “Modi said he will bring it back in 100 days. He didn't say when the first day will start.”
“I don't think they have made any more progress on this issue than what we were able to do. There are serious difficulties there. Switzerland is a very difficult customer. Their whole economy is built on banking secrecy,” he said.