BJP's stubborn attitude blocked GST bill: Chidambaram

| Friday, January 1, 2016 - 19:04
First Published |
P Chdambaram

He says government failed to deliver on its promises

New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government was too stubborn to accommodate views of the opposition with regard to the GST bill.

"Many important legislations remain stalled in Parliament. The Congress and some other parties had objected to some provisions of the GST bill on weighty and well-reasoned grounds," he told media persons.

The government was outright dismissive, until the chief economic adviser virtually endorsed two of the three principal objections and made no recommendation on the third, Chidambaram added.

"Yet, the government has not been able to find a way to accommodate the views of the Opposition and pass the GST Bill. I am afraid the government has only to blame itself and its stubborn and unbending attitude," he added.

He even said that the government at the Centre failed to deliver on its promises on all counts.

"The government had confidently predicted that the economy will grow at 8.1 to 8.5 percent in 2015-16. Many promises of the government - more jobs, greater investment and quicker infrastructure development were premised on a high growth of GDP,” the senior Congress leader said.

I am afraid none of the promises has materialized. On the contrary, 2015 has ended on a sombre and subdued note," he added.

For the whole of 2015-16, GDP growth is not likely to be higher than 7 to 7.3 percent, which means that it will be the same as, or lower than, in 2014-15. The economy is stuck in a groove, Chidambaram said.

Citing that economy stuck in the growth, he said the mid-year economic analysis of economic division of the ministry of finance is candidly admitted that private investments and exports, two of the four demands are languishing.

“The Indian economy is like a car running on two wheels. Corporate balance sheets are stressed, net sales are fallen by 5.3 per cent and profit after tax is flat,” he said.

Non-food credit growth at 8.3 percent is slowest in 20 years. Growth of credit to industry is 4.6 per cent while credit to medium enterprises has actually shrunk by 9.1 per cent. Exports of recorded 12 successive months of declined compared to the same month of previous year. This is unprecedented, added Chdambaram.

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