Attacking CEA Arvind Subramanian for “confirming” through economic survey Manmohan Singh’s claims that Indian economy is in a bad shape, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday wondered if the advisor worked for the Centre or the former Prime Minister and pitched for his removal.
Speaking to reporters on Parliament premises, Swamy expressed “shock” at the survey and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to “take a call” in this regard.
Swamy, who had in the past launched veiled attacks on Jaitley, though chose not to comment on the Union Budget presented today, saying he will do so only after studying it.
“I’m shocked (at the findings of economic survey)... because every point that Manmohan Singh made in his press conference (a day earlier), has been confirmed with analysis and data in that document,” Swamy said.
“I just wonder if Arvind Subramanian is working for us, is he our economic advisor or of Manmohan Singh? The Prime Minister and Finance Minister should take a call,” he added.
Hitting out at the Chief Economic Adviser further, Swamy said Subramanian has already appeared before the US Congress giving it “recipe for how to beat us (India) to accept American drug companies”.
“(Now) the next anti-Indian announcement from the White House is going to be on drugs, on pharmaceutical industries. So, one has to find out who is he working for. From day one, I have been saying that like Raghuram Rajan, get rid of him. But they (government) have not got rid of him,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
Last year too, Swamy had targeted the CEA, alleging that the latter sided with the US on the issue of providing market access to pharma companies in India and had demanded his sacking then too.
According to the economic survey released yesterday, the shock demonetisation will shave off a good 0.5 percentage point from GDP growth this fiscal, pulling it down to 6.5 per cent even as it predicted “return to normal” 6.75-7.5 per cent in the next financial year and called for bold tax cuts.
A day earlier, Singh had painted a bleak picture of the Indian economy insisting “it is not in good shape”.
Releasing the “Real State of Economy 2017”, a document prepared by Congress, Singh said it speaks about the state of India’s economy, its many issues and where it is heading.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who had accompanied Singh during release of the document, had said the government is “hiding behind” GDP numbers that are being challenged.