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Chidambaram blames Govt for not scrapping retro tax

P. Chidambaram

New Delhi: Dismissing the charge of obstructionism in Parliament against Congress, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today blamed the government for not scrapping retrospective tax and MAT on FIIs despite its commanding strength in the Lok Sabha.

He accused the BJP of making a u-turn on bills like GST after having stalled them during the UPA regime and rejected their claim that the Modi government has lifted the “gloom” saying it was the BJP that created it.

Reviewing the performance of the Modi government, he said farmers and unemployed would give a “very low” rating.

In a strong rebuttal of the charge that the UPA left an economic mess, he said the NDA inherited an economy that was growing a near 7 per cent with declining inflation and fiscal deficit and CAD under control and asserted there wasn’t any gloom.

He said BJP has during its first year of office only renamed UPA schemes and has followed on the previous government’s successful auction of telecom spectrum.

“They were the ones who created a pall of gloom. Where was the gloom. Inflation started declining in November 2013. The fiscal deficit was brought under control in 2012-13 partially and significantly in 2013-14.

“When we handed over the baton to them and according to their own figures economy had grown by 6.9 per cent. So where was the gloom. Except the gloom that they created. But they are rhetoric,” he told PTI in an interview.

Asked about the oft-repeated charge by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and others that the UPA left legacy issues like retrospective tax, Chidambaram shot back, “who is preventing him from repealing it.

“He has got 282 members in Parliament. Please ask him to repeal that. I had suggested to him at a public function, I suggested that please repeal that law.”

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