Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  Photo/ANI
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Photo/ANI

Sitharaman hits out at Chidambaram over 'incompetent doctors' jibe

ANI | Updated: Feb 11, 2020 23:28 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 11 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday targeted senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in both houses of Parliament for his remarks that "incompetent doctors" in the government were managing the economy.
"Harsh truths will have to be heard," she said while comparing fiscal deficit and primary deficit figures during the UPA regime and during the BJP-led NDA government.
Replying to a debate on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the fiscal deficit was 6.1 per cent in 2008-09, 6.6 per cent in 2009-10, 4.9 per cent in 2010-11, 4.9 per cent in 2012-13 and 4.5 per cent in 2013-14.
"When we talk of fiscal deficit, (we) understand the economy was managed by very competent doctors," she said.
Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech on February 1 that fiscal deficit was 3.8 per cent in 2019-20 and had been targeted at 3.5 per cent for 2020-21.
Referring to the primary deficit, she said it had been below one per cent during the Modi government but higher during the Congress-led UPA government.
"You could not come to one per cent, and could not think of coming below one per cent," said the Finance Minister.
On Monday, Chidambaram during his speech in Rajya Sabha had taken a jibe at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over its handling of the economy, saying "the patient is still being kept outside the ICU and being looked after by incompetent doctors."
"Every competent doctor that you have appointed has left the country," the former finance minister had said.
Later, replying to debate on the union budget in Rajya Sabha, she again hit out at Chidambaram saying there was more sarcasm than content in his speech.
"We are certainly predisposed about one thing, and that is, not to repeat the faulty remedies which the UPA Government had given in 2008-09 when there was a crisis. None of that will be repeated by us. That is the pre-disposed mindset of this Government," she said.
The minister said FDI flows had declined 2012-13 when "competent doctors" were overseeing the economy was nothing to learn from the people who gave "twin balance sheet crisis" as also NPAs.
The minister rejected opposition allegations about allocation to MGNREGA.
The two Houses were adjourned for recess and will meet again on March 2. (ANI)

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