Finance minister vents inflation ire at opposition

June 6th, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the remarks on inflation, which peaked to a 45-month high, and said their criticism without suggestions was not quite welcome. “I may point out that we have not heard of any concrete suggestion made by the BJP/NDA that, if implemented, would help in moderating inflation,” the finance minister said in a statement posted on his Web site.

His rejoinder was on the BJP national exeutive resolution on prices June 2, slamming the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for high inflation, that has topped 8.24 percent for the week ended May 24 from 8.1 percent for the week before.

“I regret to point out that the resolution is an exercise in self-deception and is aimed at spreading disinformation,” the finance minister said in the unusual rejoinder.

“There are many other stray references in the BJP national executive resolution which can only be described as ‘economising with the truth’ and hence are not dealt with in this rejoinder.”

He said the inflation was a problem under NDA government. Between 2000-01, in 48 out of 52 weeks, the inflation rate was over six percent, and in 22 of those weeks, it was over 7 percent, and even topping eight percent in 12 weeks.

“I would be the first to admit that we have not overcome all our problems. Notwithstanding the many successes under the UPA government, we admit that inflation is a problem. It was a problem under the BJP/NDA government too.”

The finance minister also remarked about India’s growth story and said gross domestic product (GDP) during six years the BJP-led government was in power till 2004, expanded by an average for only 5.8 per cent

“In two of those years, the growth rate was abysmally low at 4.4 percent for 2000-01 and 3.8 percent for 2002-03,” he said, adding: “Thanks to the UPA government’s management, the economy has recorded an unprecedented high rate of growth, the average for the four years being 8.9 percent.”

He hoped that the people of India would realise the gains that had accrued to the country and to the poor people in particular during the four years of the UPA government.

“The UPA Government is confident it will, with the understanding and support of the people, overcome the current difficulties and ensure, in the medium to long term, robust and inclusive growth with price stability.”

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