Modi government only knows ‘pakodanomics’: Chidambaram
New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Pointing out that the Interim Budget announced on Friday is "silent" on jobs and education, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram ridiculed the Modi government saying all it understands is "pakodanomics".
"Two words that are missing from the Budget speech are education and jobs. In the 10 point vision document presented by Finance Minister (Piyush Goyal), there is nothing about education, nothing about jobs.
"There is nothing about jobs because if they say anything about jobs the youth will dismiss it as ‘pakodanomics’.
"The only thing this government knows about jobs is ‘pakodanomics’," said Chidambaram, referring to the term coined after Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that street vendors selling ‘pakodas’ should also be considered as employed.
The Congress veteran also dismissed the NITI Aayog’s defence of the government "suppressing" a report that showed the unemployment rate at a 45-year high.
"The NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation) report has revealed that unemployment for 2017-18 stood at 6.1 per cent which is highest in 45 years.
"The NSSO data is never approved by the Prime Minister or the cabinet.
"The CSO (Central Statistics Office) is an autonomous body which collects statistics and releases its reports.
"But the Niti Aayog Vice Chairman suddenly comes up with this theory that NSSO data must be approved by the government before it is released.
"The data shows unemployment to be highest in 45 years and the government doesn’t have a word about jobs in the budget speech. The government doesn’t have a word on what it intends to do about reforming education both quantitative and qualitative."
He questioned Goyal for using Hindi and English simultaneously in his budget speech.
"I am a strong supporter of the use of Hindi and English as official languages, but no one intended that the two languages should be used alternately or simultaneously.
"Those who knew only Hindi did not understand one half of the Budget Speech and those who knew only English did not understand the other half.
"Perhaps that was the real intention of the government: leave the people confused at least for a day. The mist that wraps this Budget will lift by tomorrow and the people will see the desperation and recklessness of the government," he added.