Budget lacks bold, structural reforms: Chidambaram

The Union Budget 2019-20 does not chalk out a clear roadmap to take India on the high economic growth path and lacks bold and structural reforms, former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram said on Thursday in Rajya Sabha.

Participating in the debate on the Budget, he also downplayed the Modi government's call of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25, saying economy itself doubles due to "magic of compounding" in six to seven years.

He also tried to corner Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying she did not present macro economic data, including receipts from revenue, in her Budget Speech in Lok Sabha on July 5.

Chidambaram said the Finance Minister should have mentioned figures in her speech as people deserve to know broad numbers as they do not go through annexures and other Budget documents.

"I cannot recall a Budget Speech so bereft of macro data," he said, and urged the finance ministry to ensure important data gets mention in the Budget Speech in future.

He also rued that there was no clarity on the exact projections on the GDP.

Chidambaram said at one place the GDP growth has been projected at 7 per cent and at other place it is 8 per cent.

"One per cent makes a huge difference," he said, adding the government, CGA, and Chief Economic Advisor could not present a unified picture for the current fiscal.