New Delhi, July 5: As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman broke the decades-old tradition of bringing Budget documents to the Parliament in a suitcase, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a jibe, saying that a future FM from their party will carry a soft copy of the Budget in an iPad.
"Take it from me, our Congress' finance minister will in future bring an iPad," Chidambaram said, as he critiqued the Union Budget 2019-20 in a press conference on Friday. 'Symbolises Departure From Slavery of Western Thought', Says Sitharaman on Bringing Budget Docs in Red Cloth
Notably, Sitharaman had brought the Budget documents wrapped in a red-cloth to the Parliament, where she read out her maiden financial blueprint in a speech which lasted for over 2 hours.
Update by ANI:
Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman keeping budget documents in four fold red cloth instead of a briefcase: Take it from me, our Congress' finance minister will in future bring an iPad. #UnionBudget2019 pic.twitter.com/SpmEikVAhY
— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2019
Chidambaram, who was the finance minister in the Manmohan Singh-led government, also took a swipe at Sitharaman over her assertion that the NPA crisis was tackled only after the Narendra Modi-led regime took over.
Sitharaman had claimed that nearly 1 lakh crore of NPA was reduced through concerted efforts of the government in the last 5 years.
Watch: Nirmala Sitharaman Carries Red & Gold Bahi Khata, Breaks From ‘Briefcase’ Tradition
In a sharp rebuttal, Chidambaram asked her to explain why a "mammoth" amount was written off by the Centre during the first tenure of PM Modi.
"While the finance minister claimed that we have reduced NPAs by Rs 1 lakh crore, she should have also said that in the same period banks have written off Rs 5,55,603 crore, why didn't she say that, I don't know," he questioned.