FM’s arithmetic correct, her mathematical conclusion wrong: Chidambaram

Chidambaram added: "Regrettably, the FM thinks that the average Indian has below-average Intelligence in understanding numbers relating to finances."

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Tuesday criticised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for getting ‘wrong’ mathematical conclusion in the developmental expenditure.

He said, “The FM’s arithmetic is correct. Her mathematical conclusion is wrong!”

Chidambaram added: “Regrettably, the FM thinks that the average Indian has below-average Intelligence in understanding numbers relating to finances.”

He alleged that the Finance Minister has tweeted that her government spent Rs 90.9 lakh crore on developmental expenditure in 8 years compared to Rs 49.2 lakh crore spent by the UPA government in 10 years

But Chidambaram flags that the size of the Budget is bigger every year and the total expenditure is bigger every year. Developmental expenditure or social services expenditure will also be bigger every year, he said.

He said the correct mathematical analysis will require the Finance Minister to compare the ‘proportion’ of any head of expenditure to total expenditure. Such a comparison will reveal that, as a proportion, social services expenditure has plummeted after 2014-15.

“The FM’s numbers are in the RBI’s Handbook of Statistics. It will show that the proportion has fallen from an average of 9% of total expenditure under UPA to an average of 5% of total expenditure under NDA,” Chidambaram tweeted.

The Finance Minister had tweeted a day before, “The developmental expenditure incurred by the Modi Govt of Rs 90.9 lakh cr so far is over and above the Rs 93,685.68 crore already spent between 2014-22 on repaying the UPA-era oil bonds. Further, an additional Rs 1.48 lakh crore will be paid by 2026.”

She further said, “The expenditure incurred by the Modi Govt includes Rs 24.85 lakh crore spent so far on food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies and Rs 26.3 lakh crore on capital creation. Over the 10 years of UPA, only Rs 13.9 lakh crore was spent on subsidies.”

She had also slammed the UPA for spending less, “RBI data shows total developmental expenditure incurred by Modi Govt in 2014-22 was Rs 90.9 lakh cr, far higher than is being alleged by some sections of the Opposition. In contrast, only Rs 49.2 lakh crore was spent on this during 2004-14.”


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