Opposition today attacked Finance Minister P Chidambaram for blaming his predecessor for the ills facing the economy and told the government to get out if it cannot rescue the country from the "irretrievable" situation created by its "incompetence and corruption".
Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Supplementary Demands for Grants (General), BJP leader Ananth Kumar dubbed Chidambaram as 'anartha shastri' (expert in creating chaos) and held him responsible for the current economic situation which was "irretrievable".
"If they are not capable of leading...Govern or get out. ...The people's dreams of a robust and prosperous economy have been ruined by the incompetence and corruption of this government," he said.
While the economy is in a "mess" with high inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit, the government has been blaming the opposition, the BJP, as also outside supporters like SP and BSP, apart from the UPA constituents.
"The UPA had earlier created jobless growth. Now there is no job, no growth. It is in fact negative growth," he said.
The Finance Minister had recently blamed his predecessor for the problems in the economy, Kumar lamented, saying Chidambaram "owes an explanation to the country for his comments. People have now started calling him 'anartha shastri'".
Chidambaram's predecessor was Pranab Mukherjee, who is now the President.
The BJP MP attributed the problems facing the economy to the stimulus package announced by Chidambaram in his earlier tenure as Finance Minister in 2008-o9, which started "the beginning of the fall of the Indian economy."
He also made a strong plea to lower the income tax rate from ten to five per cent to give relief to 3.5 crore households who earned less than Rs five lakh per annum and have been hit hard by rising prices.
Kumar hit out at the UPA government over rising unemployment and farmers' suicides and said prices of all essential commodities had risen by 30-40 per cent "only between March and July this year."
The BJP leader also blamed the ruling coalition for the "series of scams" like CWG, 2G spectrum and coal scams.
Madhu Goud Yaskhi (Cong) accused the opposition party of indulging in corruption in states like Karnataka, and during the earlier NDA rule.
"On one hand, they oppose FDI, on the other they express concern and ask why foreign investment is not coming. Such is the irresponsible attitude of the main opposition," he said, recounting "people-friendly" measures like food and land bills and RTI law taken by the Congress-led government.
Shailendra Kumar (SP) supported the Demands for Grants but asked the government to take urgent steps to check inflation, restore confidence of investors, create jobs and check the falling value of the rupee.
Maintaining that the Congress would "go to polls on the planks of Telangana, food and land acquisition bills," he asked the ruling party to think what long-term impact these decisions will have on the economy and the people.
The SP member also drew the attention of the House over the devastation caused by floods in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and said large tracts of arable land have been inundated and standing crop destroyed.
"Think of its impact on future foodgrain availability," Kumar said, asking whether the Centre would help the states in meeting this devastation.
He also demanded an assistance of Rs 900 crore for Uttar Pradesh, which is under his party's rule, to meet the flood situation.
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