P Chidambaram asked to rate Budget 2020, gives an epic reply

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P Chidambaram asked to rate Budget 2020, gives an epic reply
P Chidambaram asked to rate Budget 2020, gives an epic reply

New Delhi : Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was asked to rate this year's budget from 1 to 10 and he came up with a reply no one would have expected. He said, "Ten has two digits, one and a zero...You can pick either".

In his statement, he alleged that the current government is in complete denial mode and is not accepting that the economy faces a "grave macro-economic challenge".

"There is nothing in the Budget that leads us to believe that growth will revive in 2020-21. The claim of 6 to 6.5 per cent growth next year is astonishing and even irresponsible," Chidambaram said.  

The economy, he added in a statement, is "demand-constrained and investment-starved".

"The FM has not acknowledged these two challenges, and that is a pity. Consequently, she has proposed no measures or solutions to those two challenges. If the twin challenges remain, the economy will not turn around and there will be no relief to the millions of poor and the middle class," the statement read.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had also served as the Finance Minister, poked fun at the length of the Budget. "We have just heard the longest Budget speech delivered by a Finance Minister in recent years. It lasted all of 160 minutes. If, therefore, all of you are exhausted - as I am - I would not blame you," read a statement from him.

However, he refused to make a comment on it claiming that it is "too long to absorb".

Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a first, did not complete the budget speech, which, at 2 hours 40 minutes, was the longest ever. She paused mid-way and sat down after she reportedly felt unwell, and had to be given sugar.