Chidambaram: The White Paper is a hatchet job

This is not a white paper; it is a paper that is intended to whitewash the many sins and commissions of the NDA government in the last 10 years, says Congress leader P. Chidambaram

P. Chidambaram releases a statement slamming the BJP's White Paper, criticising unfulfilled promises, and questioning economic performance. (photo: IANS)
P. Chidambaram releases a statement slamming the BJP's White Paper, criticising unfulfilled promises, and questioning economic performance. (photo: IANS)
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NH Digital

Congress leader P. Chidambaram launched a scathing attack on the BJP government's White Paper, denouncing it as a "hatchet job" and a "white-lie paper" aimed at tarnishing the previous administration's image while masking the current government's failures. Chidambaram, who served as Finance Minister from 2004 to 2014, released a statement, lambasting the paper as a 'political ploy' devoid of academic integrity or scholarly research.

In his critique, Chidambaram asserted that the White Paper failed to offer a fair and unbiased assessment, as it arbitrarily began its analysis in 2004 and abruptly ended in 2014, omitting a comprehensive examination of the periods before and after. He argued that a thorough evaluation should encompass a reasonable timeframe beyond partisan boundaries.

A fair and unbiased assessment of any period will not start arbitrarily with 2004 and end abruptly in 2014. It would have assessed a reasonable period before 2004 and included a reasonable period after 2014. The paper released today is not a white paper; it is a paper that is intended to whitewash the many sins and commissions of the NDA government in the last 10 years.
P. Chidambaram

Furthermore, Chidambaram challenged the BJP's record, highlighting a series of unfulfilled promises made by the government since assuming power. As per his statement, these promises included pledges to create two crore jobs annually, repatriate black money stashed abroad within 100 days, double farmers' incomes, reduce fuel prices significantly, provide housing for all, and establish 100 smart cities by 2022. He accused the BJP of reneging on these commitments without expressing remorse, characterising them as mere "election jumlas" that were "laughed off".

No government on assuming office had made wild promises as the Narendra Modi government and broken them without an expression of regret. In fact, the government laughed them away as election jumlas.
P. Chidambaram

Contrasting economic performance, Chidambaram pointed to the achievements of the UPA government, citing impressive GDP growth rates and fiscal discipline during its tenure. He highlighted the "golden period of growth" between 2005-06 and 2007-08, where the Indian economy recorded GDP growth rates exceeding 9 percent, along with robust fiscal indicators such as low fiscal and revenue deficits.

The Indian economy recorded the golden period of growth' in the three years between 2005-06 and 2007-08 when the GDP grew at 9 per cent or more at an average of 9.5 per cent. The Indian economy achieved its best fiscal performance in 2007-08 when the fiscal deficit was 2.5 per cent and the revenue deficit was 1.1 per cent.
P. Chidambaram

Moreover, Chidambaram provided statistical comparisons between the UPA and NDA governments, underscoring disparities in GDP growth rates, fiscal deficits, national debt, household savings, farm wages growth, and non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks. He criticized the current government's handling of the economy, citing a decline in spending on critical sectors like health and education, alongside skyrocketing fuel prices.

In summary, Chidambaram restated his criticism of the White Paper, characterising it as a deceitful effort to conceal the BJP administration's failures while unfairly blaming its predecessors. He urged the public to critically examine the government's claims and offered to present further analysis in the future to debunk what he termed the "white-lie paper."

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