Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday asked main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to clarify its economic policies, especially related to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
In a statement, Chidambaram asked BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to clarify his position on key economic issues facing the country like fiscal deficit, current account deficit and the monetary policy.
“I have further questions: Why do Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat oppose GST and prevent a consensus? Why did Shri Modi write to the Prime Minister opposing the Food Security Act,” Chidambaram asked.
“If Indian-owned multi-brand retail will not destroy jobs, how will FDI in multi-brand retail destroy jobs,” the finance minister added.
Chidambaram had a bitter exchange of world with BJP leaders on economic policy issues in the past few days.
In an interview to television channel BBC, Chidambaram earlier this week challenged Narendra Modi’s knowledge of economics, saying it can be written on the “backside of a postal stamp”.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley Wednesday hit back at Chidambaram, saying the finance minister thinks that he is the “principal repository of all economic wisdom” while the country’s economic situation is turned into a “nightmare”.
In his reply, Chidambaram said: “I expected Shri Arun Jaitley to rush to the defence of Shri Narendra Modi, and he has not disappointed me. He has responded to my lighter-vein comment on ‘back of a postage stamp’ and I enjoy such exchanges.”
“However, he has carefully avoided the other questions that I raised. Why has Shri Modi said nothing about the fiscal deficit, nothing about the CAD, and nothing about monetary policy,” Chidambaram asked.