Gandhinagar, Oct 28: Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi government over demonetisation and GST saying many, many small and medium businesses have shut down and people have lost jobs due to these two decisions. Interacting with businessmen in Rajkot, Gujarat, Chidambaram called demonetisation a “careless step”. Also Read - Sharad Pawar to Chair Opposition's Key Meet on Tuesday in Delhi After Chat With Prashant Kishor
“From no angle the step was bold. Would you say that when farmers end their lives? Committing suicide also requires courage. Demonetisation was absolutely a careless and adventurous step,” said the veteran minister. Also Read - 'Will Restore Article 370 in J&K if Voted to Power', Congress' Digvijaya to Pakistani Journalist in Alleged Clubhouse Chat
Talking further on the same issue, Chidambaram said for more than two months people were seen in queues to exchange notes and more than hundred people died in Narendra Modi’sdemonetisation drive. Also Read - 'Unless I Can be Teleported': Abhijit Mukherjee, Late President Pranab Mukherjee's Son, on Joining TMC
Trying to move a country into a cashless society in which many people such as rickshaw pullers, plumbers depend on cash, was a foolish step, feels the 71-year-old. The scrapping of Rs 500 and 1000 notes were introduced to end the black money practice and gaining a hold on terror funding but it failed to achieve its objective, stated Chidambaram.
Chidambaram said that there is no black money but the system of evading tax is a matter to look for. “Our shadow economy (evading tax) is somewhere around 12 per cent and many European countries have more than 12 per cent. The shadow economy of US stands at around eight per cent,” added Chidambaram.
Describing shadow economy, he said that it is the income the government is not able to get a hold of. He also highlighted hoe shadow economy can be curbed. For this, he said the tax system of the country should be more efficient and friendly so that people will come out and pay, adding, “People will avoid the cruel tax.”
Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that our economy is on a strong wicket. Reacting on this, Chidambaram said that the Indian economy is moving backward.
Slamming the Modi government, the Congress veteran asked how will ‘Vikas’ be done when there are no jobs and to create jobs survival of small and medium businesses is necessary.
On Bullet Train:
The former Home Minister questioned the project saying How many will travel in it? He also said that instead of the bullet train government should have given money to schools for improving infrastructure and it should have built toilets.
He further went on to say that instead of the bullet train, the existing rail network should have been improved.