A day after Finance Minister P Chidambaram taunted him for presiding over “worst years” of Indian economy since liberalisation, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Friday hit back saying Chidambaram has always “played fraud” in the Budget, including the interim one for the current fiscal.
“I may have been the worst finance minister after 1991, but I did not commit fraud. Chidambaram has been the cleverest finance minister since 1991 and has played fraud on the budget not only this year but always,” Sinha said in a statement.
Rubbishing Chidambaram’s assertions of containing fiscal deficit, he said the numbers have been dressed up by postponing payment of subsidies and whopping Rs 80,000 crore cut in plan expenditure.
“I…add that he had played fraud in the interim Budget and that the next government should come out with a white paper to expose his lies,” said Sinha, a former Finance Minister.
Quoting a published article, he said that in the 1997-98 Budget Chidambaram had targeted a fiscal deficit of 4.5 per cent of GDP. When the next government presented the Budget for 1998-99, the deficit had ballooned to 5.8 per cent.
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“Instead of challenging me on facts, Chidambaram has decided to attack me personally. Let me remind him that it is not my tenure in the Finance Ministry, which ended 12 years ago, which is in question. It is the performance of Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh on the economic front which is under question in this election,” he said.
Sinha also accused Chidambaram for non-passage of Direct Taxes Code (DTC) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.