New Delhi, June 4: Attacking the NDA government over rising fuel price and economic issues, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the Indian economy is now like a car whose three tyres are punctured. Addressing a public event in Mumbai on Sunday, Chidambaram said, “Private investment, private consumption, exports and government expenditures are four growth engines of an economy. It’s like four tyres of a car. If one or two tyres are punctured, it will slow down but in our case, three tyres are punctured.”
He said that to keep its expenditure going, the government has continued taxing petrol, diesel, and even LPG. The government is squeezing money from the people in such taxes and spending some of it on public amenities.
In the past fortnight, fuel prices had mostly been on the rise across the country. The reason behind it is the rise in the crude oil cost and high taxes levied by the central and state government.
Chidambaram also criticised the government for introducing a “five-slab” Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. “This government has introduced GST with five tax slabs with a cess over it. In other countries, GST is just one tax system but we can have two types of taxation in India. Still, having five slabs is not what we had imagined about GST,” said the Congress leader.
He said that the government is incompetent in addressing the economic issues, which has “worsened” under the current dispensation. “Industrial utilisation is mere 60 percent in the country. The export of merchandise, during the UPA, was USD 315 billion, which was USD 303 billion last year. Before that, it was not even USD 300 billion. This shows we are not earning from exports too,” the former finance minister said.
He mocked the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana under which loans of up to Rs. 10 lakh are provided to non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. “The average amount of disbursed Mudra loan is Rs. 43,000 per person. No major investment can be done with such low amount, except one wants to run a Pakoda stall,” Mr. Chidambaram said in an apparent reference to PM Modi’s remarks that selling ‘pakodas’ is also a form of employment.
(With agency inputs)