Following the release of the GDP and Gross Value Added figures for 2016-17 showing the sliding of the economy by 1.3 percent, former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Friday trained his guns on the Centre for ridiculing the suggestions of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Reiterating his view, Chidambaram dubbed demonetisation as the biggest scam of 2016. “The Central Statistical Organisation has released the GDP GVA figures for 2016-17. Finally, the bluff of the Government is called. The economy was slowing down in the middle of 2016 and we had cautioned the Government that unless it takes corrective steps, the economy will slide further. Instead of taking corrective steps, the Government decided to demonetise high-value currency. Suddenly, without any warning, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 were declared legal tender and something like Rs. 14.5-15 lakh crore was pulled out of money supply,” Chidambaram told. Chidambaram slammed the Government for ignoring his and former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s suggestions on the same, and instead ridiculing them. “Immediately, we (Manmohan Singh, I) had cautioned that this was a wrong move and it will gravely affect the Indian economy. I had said that the hit to economy will be between 1-1.5 percent. We were laughed at, the Government ridiculed us. Now, what’s the truth. The CSO has said that the economy has taken a hit of 1.3 percent. Right in the middle of the range I had given. That’s going to cost the country Rs. 1.5 lakh crore,” Chidambaram said.
Recalling the ill-effects demonetisation brought upon the country, the Congress leader said millions of people, agricultural workers, daily wage earners, self-employed people were put to misery. The Rediff.com : 2nd. June,17