UPA should get credit for GDP growth: Chidambaram

Observing that the first quarter is the period between April and June 2014, the former Finance Minister said it was the UPA government that was in charge until May 26, 2014.

August 30, 2014 01:57 pm | Updated May 03, 2016 09:40 pm IST - New Delhi

MADURAI, TAMILNADU, 08/04/2014. :  Finanace Minister P.Chidambaram, addressing a Press Conference in Madurai, Tamilnadu on April 08, 2014.-Photo:S_James

MADURAI, TAMILNADU, 08/04/2014. : Finanace Minister P.Chidambaram, addressing a Press Conference in Madurai, Tamilnadu on April 08, 2014.-Photo:S_James

On a day when some commentators attributed the uptick in the economy, during April–June, to the Modi government, Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that it was in fact the UPA Government that deserves the credit for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth picking up to 5.7 per cent, the highest rate in 10 quarters.

Further, Mr. Chidambaram expressed confidence that the full-year growth for the current fiscal could exceed 5.5 per cent if the NDA Government builds on the foundations laid by the UPA Government.

Though sections of the media attributed the turnaround wholly to Mr Modi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appeared willing to share credit with his predecessor. Asked for a response to Mr. Chidambaram’s statement, he said at the press conference on the achievements of the Modi Government in its first 100 days, “The economy is doing well and every Indian has a right to smile”.

GDP growth was less than 5 percent in the past two financial years. “The 5.7 per cent growth rate vindicates our position that the decline in economic growth had been halted in the middle of 2013-14 as well as our forecast that the upturn will take place in the beginning of 2014-15,” Mr. Chidambaram said in a statement. He said that since it was the UPA Government that was in charge until May 26 — the day the Modi government was sworn in — “We are therefore legitimately entitled to take credit for the revival of the economy, although much more remains to be done”.

Mr. Chidambaram also said that the growth in the first quarter was a result of steps that the UPA Government had taken in the previous fiscal ended March 31 for reviving manufacturing, such as cutting excise duties for certain sectors and providing coal linkages for the electricity sector. He also said that the UPA Government had undertaken a number of reforms in financial services sector and that according to the GDP data all these were the lead performing sectors of the economy.

The GDP data released shows that the fastest growing sector was electricity, gas and water supplies, which grew 10.2 per cent against 3.8 per cent during April-June 2013.

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