Senior Congress Chairman P. Chidambaram said today that the state of India’s economy is a cause for “extreme concern” and said today that taking into account global and domestic developments, there may be a need to consider a realignment of economic policies.
Speaking at a news conference, Mr Chidambaram said a slower growth rate has been the current government’s “hallmark” for the past eight years and the post-pandemic recovery has been “indifferent and faltering”.
Mr Chidambaram, who chairs the economic panel set up by Congress President Sonia Gandhi to guide discussions at the three-day “Chintan Shivir” in Udaipur in Rajasthan, also said the time was right for a comprehensive review of the tax relationship between the center and the states.
The consequences of the poorly drafted and unfairly implemented GST laws introduced by the Modi government in 2017 are for everyone to see, the congress leader said.
“The state budget positions are more vulnerable than ever and urgently need remedial action,” said the former finance minister, flanked by several other panel members such as Gourav Vallabh and Supriya Shrinate.
Noting that the Congress-led government ushered in a new era of liberalization in 1991, Mr Chidambaram said the country has tremendous advantages in terms of wealth creation, new businesses and new entrepreneurs, a huge middle class, millions of jobs, exports and recovery harvested 27 million people out of poverty during a 10-year period.
“After 30 years, it is felt that there may be a need to reflect on a reorientation of economic policies, taking into account global and national developments,” said Mr. Chidambaram.
“Rebalancing economic policies must also address the issues of rising inequalities, extreme poverty among the bottom 10 percent of the population, India’s ranking in the 2021 Global Hunger Index (101 out of 116 countries), and evidence of widespread malnutrition among women and children,” he added.
“The external situation has added pressure on the economy,” he noted.
“The government seems clueless on how to deal with these developments,” he added.
Mr Chidambaram continued: “I am confident that our three-day deliberations and the decisions that the Congress Working Committee will make over the coming days and weeks will make a significant contribution to the nationwide debate on the economic policies that are best suited to the.” interests of the country and its people.”
The discussions that started on Friday at the “Chintan Shivir” of the Congress will be continued on the second and third days and the conclusions will be recorded in the form of a declaration.
A draft of the declaration will be discussed at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, which will be held here on the third and final day of the conclave.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)