BJP undecided on reforms strategy



New Delhi: BJP on monday kept everybody guessing about its formal position on insurance and pension reforms Bills and attacked the government for "being in a hurry" to usher in reforms despite lacking numbers in Parliament.

The party also hit out at Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statements on reforms. Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Finance Minister is making "ambitious" claims about the likely growth of Indian economy at 8.2 per cent and sought to know if it is achievable and whom it is going to benefit.

Asked about BJP's stand on the new reforms being brought in by the UPA government, Sitharaman refused to give a straight answer and maintained this government is "dithering" on reforms, has not taken steps to better the economy and now does not even enjoy a majority (after TMC withdrew support).

On the issue of support to the proposed Bills on FDI in insurance and pensions, Sitharaman said "this government has been misleading the people on the issue of reforms. What are not reforms, they happily title them as reforms and claim that they are going forward. Being in a minority today, they have not made a genuine attempt at fiscal consolidation."

BJP alleged the government has not shown any sign of having a "genuine interest" in reforms.

"When questioning the BJP on whether it will support reforms, I want to make the context clear. The atmosphere for moving with certain kinds of steps which this government may call reforms which we say are not really complete reform steps. The other reform steps are languishing," she said.

PTI