Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday said that Nirmala Sitharaman's speech in the Parliament while presenting Union Budget 2019 is "one of the most opaque speeches."
"FDI in companies is limited to 24 per cent. Last year Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) dipped over the previous year. It was about 44 billion dollars, which was 1 per cent less than previous year. How will they get FDI. She said nothing about it. Nothing is clear, this is one of the most opaque speeches," says Chidambaram.Â
Chidambaram also slammed the Finance Minister for not disclosing sector-wise allocation in her speech.Â
"Itâ€™s unfair to the people of country. You have not disclosed allocation for defence, mid-day meal, MGNREGA," said, P Chidambaram.
Chidambaram also criticised the government for levying 2 percent tax deduction at source (TDS) on cash withdrawal exceeding Rs 1 crore for a year from a bank account and argued that advanced economies use a large amount of cash.
"These people are obsessed with people using less cash. Advanced economies use a large amount of cash. People who want to use cash will shy away from keeping at banks. They'll keep it at home. What they have done is tax deduction. Any kind of forced use of cash will be counter-productive," he said while addressing a press conference in the national capital after Sitharaman's Budget 2019 speech.Â
When asked to comment on Nirmala Sitharaman keeping budget documents in four-fold red cloth instead of a briefcase, Chidambaram said, "Take it from me, our Congress' finance minister will in future bring an iPad."Â
Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman keeping budget documents in four fold red cloth instead of a briefcase: Take it from me, our Congress' finance minister will in future bring an iPad. #UnionBudget2019 pic.twitter.com/SpmEikVAhYâ€” ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2019
Earlier, hitting out at Modi 2.0 government, Chidambaram on Thursday said that the Economic Survey 2019 shows that it is â€˜pessimistic about the economyâ€™.Â
â€œIt appears to me that the government, speaking through the Economic Survey, is pessimistic about the economy,â€ Chidambaram said in a Twitter post.
The senior Congress leader said the findings of the economic survey 2018-19 were neither positive nor encouraging.