GDP growth rate a catastrophe, says former Finance Minister P Chidambaram


Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday called India’s latest GDP growth rate of 5.7 percent a “catastrophe” after the economy slowed to a three-year low in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

“Our worst fears have come true. Sub-6 percent growth is a catastrophe,” Chidambaram tweeted. “Slow growth, low investment and no jobs – an explosive cocktail.”

The 5.7 percent growth in April-June was sharply lower than last year’s 7.9 percent expansion in the same quarter as also the previous quarter’s 6.1 percent growth, signs that the country was still reeling under the shock of demonetisation and disruption caused ahead of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout.

The Central Statistics Office estimate shows that gross value added (GVA) grew 5.6 percent in April-June lower than the last year’s 7.6 percent growth during the same quarter. GVA growth has significantly fallen in the last few quarters, slipping to 5.6 percent in January-March.

“GDP and GVA figures are more evidence of Dr Manmohan Singh’s indictment of ‘monumental mismanagement’,” Chidambaram, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, said.

The government, however, said that the slowdown could be a one-off affair, given the large scale inventory clearance before GST’s rollout.





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