Modi govt fudging figures to suit RBI debate: PC

Modi govt fudging figures to suit RBI debate: PC

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. (PTI file photo)

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday accused the Modi government of “fudging figures” while attempting to counter opposition claims of pressurising the RBI to transfer Rs 3.3 lakh crore to the national exchequer.

On Friday, the Modi government fielded Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg to clarify that govt was not seeking Rs 3.3 lakh crore capital from the RBI as suggested in a section of the media.

Garg had claimed that the government's fiscal math was completely on track and argued that it had succeeded in bringing down fiscal deficit from 5.1% in 2013-14 to an estimated 3.3% in 2018-19.

Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister during 2013-14 countered Garg's claim on the fiscal deficit figure during his tenure. “How did Economic Affairs Secretary say that fiscal deficit in 2013-14 was 5.1 per cent? Official data says it was 4.4 per cent,” Chidambaram said.

“Fudging figures in a debate is neither good governance nor good manners,” the senior Congress leader said.

On Friday, Chidambaram had accused the BJP of taking India “on a path of conflict and economic disaster”. “Where is the promise of doubling farmers' income, reducing the prices of food and fuel, restoring the exchange value of the rupee to Rs 40 per US dollar, putting an end to alleged tax terrorism, achieving double-digit GDP growth rate,” Chidambaram had asked.