Chidambaram says his take on growth rate has come true

Chidambaram says his take on growth rate has come true

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said that following demonetisation he had forecast a 1.5 per cent cut in the Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate and it has come true.

"A demonetisation like grief should not befall on any country," the former Union minister said, claiming that it had been hugely "detrimental" to the Indian economy in the 21st century.

A day after demonetisation was announced, he had said in Parliament that it would lead to a cut in the growth rate by 1.5 per cent, Chidambaram recalled.

While the GDP growth rate was 8.2 per cent in 2015-16, it was 6.7 per cent in 2017-18.

"My heart is aching as what I had said has come true. I am not happy that what I had said has come true," he said.

"I write only for this, a government should not cause grief, if it does, the people should question it," the former Union minister added.

At the launch function of the Tamil version (titled Vaimaye Vellum) of his 'Speaking Truth to Power', the senior Congress leader said "everybody should write and speak" to end discrimination.

'Speaking Truth to Power' is a collection of his essays that appeared in a national daily and it was launched earlier this year by former president Pranab Mukherjee.

Citing factors like malnutrition affecting children in India, he said it was one of the reasons he chose to write, apparently against the Centre, and stressed that everybody should speak and write to tackle such things.

Chidambaram said he believed that caste discrimination and political irregularities can be ended and economic wrongs corrected only by writing and speaking against it.

Recalling India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's famous letters to her daughter Indira Gandhi from prison, he said, "I say everybody should write."