Here’s how Arun Jaitley countered Yashwant Sinha on state of economy

Yashwant Sinha in his explosive article levelled some serious charges against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and blamed him for pushing the economy towards a “mess”. BJP was quick to push his son Jayant Sinha to the forefront, but Arun Jaitley decided to counter the ex-Finance Minister’s allegations himself. In an interview given to a media channel, Jaitley put forward his views regarding the current economical situation. Here are the top takeaways:

“When India is at 70, there are always attempts to change the narrative itself. I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former finance Minister. Nor do I have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist.”

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“Therefore I can conveniently forget a policy paralysis, 4 billion reserves left in 1991 and I can switch over and change a narrative.”

“Demonetisation was intended to make sure that this anonymous tender (money) get identified to its owner. Shadow economy was playing under the old normal and those who opposed it were the ones under whom shadow economy was operating.”

“It was everyone’s call that GST should come. States knew the merits of GST. Those who had pushed this country into policy paralysis, when they saw it coming, they said to postpone it.”

“We gave the opportunity to people to come clean about their accounts held abroad. Small areas which paralysed, at least UPA 2, because of discretion being used and misused. We were completely able to distance ourselves from these discretions itself.
FDI continues to be largest ever in the country. Direct tax figures are 15.7% over and above last year’s figure, so this so-called slowdown visualized by some, hasn’t even impacted.”

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“I am not drawing comparisons. In relation to what this country has undergone. If you look at the capacity of leadership to take decisions, does it put the country into policy paralysis, does it look the other way when gross corruption take place? The space of bringing a blend between a fast moving, economy that grows and benefits percolates, has been the basic tenor of this government.”

“When we started in first 1-2 years, the favourite comment was these are incremental changes, not big bang.”

“Before present government, there was no way in India you could do business without relying on alternate mechanisms of payment. It had corrupted us as a society, tarnished our image globally. Prime Minister had a very strong agenda on creating a new normal as far as India shadow economy was concerned.”

“I had announced this year, how do we legitimize political funding in India so underground funding itself comes to an end. Now it is in final stages.”

“Post demonetisation, post-GST, the most severe criticism I have faced is why did you do it (GST) so soon.”

“One of the priority before this country was economic discipline and prudence, but balance and spending was also necessary. Not so easy.”

“Modi government shattered shadow economy. Strong actions being taken against Benami property owners, irrespective of their political affiliation.”

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“Look at the tenor of the debate these days. What was the kind of decision political leadership in past would think twice before taking. We tackled political corruption in New Delhi.”

“Something UPA didn’t do since 2011, the first decision we took was to form SIT on black money.”

“There is a new ideological divergence emerging in India, which was not there in 70 years. Last 3.5 years have seen it happening emphatically. Ideological polarisation taking place across the country.”

“Left-right labelling will get diluted. Not only we replace Congress at the Centrestage but also become central protector of the state. Whole polarisation process started 2-2.5 years ago. The centrist space comes to us.”


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