Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur criticised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram for their the Centre for the slowdown in economic growth, PTI reported on Thursday.

Data released on August 30 showed that growth in Gross Domestic Product fell to a six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter. According to the commerce ministry, growth in eight core sectors – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity – dropped to 2.1% in July, compared to 7.3% growth in the same period last year.

“Both the former finance minister and the former prime minister need to first look back and see what was the state of the economy during their tenures,” Thakur told reporters in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. “When they were in office, the inflation rate was in double digits and the economy was [growing at a rate of] under 5%.”

The minister was in Ahmedabad to attend an award distribution ceremony organised by the Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council. “You do not have to look back much,” Thakur said, criticising the Congress government’s economic policies. “You will see this if you go six or seven years back.”

Manmohan Singh had blamed “all-round mismanagement” by the Narendra Modi government for the economic slowdown. He also urged the government to “put aside vendetta politics” and consult with “all sane voices and thinking minds” to save the economy.

Chidambaram took a dig at the Narendra Modi government while coming out of a courtroom in Delhi on September 3. When journalists asked him what he had to say about his CBI custody, the Congress leader said: “Five percent, do you know what is 5%?”

Thakur claimed India would become a $5 trillion economy well before the 2024 target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I can say this because our government has kept both inflation as well as fiscal deficit under control,” he claimed. “We are taking all necessary steps to give a boost to the economy. We are meeting officials, traders, businessmen and even consumers to implement effective steps, which will be beneficial for all of us and help the country grow further.”

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