- Arun Jaitley said Rahul Gandhi has been inadequately briefed
- He said Mr Gandhi's accusation on loan waiver is factually false
- Banking fraud started in 2011 when the UPA II was in power: Mr Jaitley
"Every time I listen to the view of Shri Rahul Gandhi, both inside and outside Parliament, I ask myself the same question - How much does he know? When will he know?" went Mr Jaitley's opening lines of a blog titled "How Much Does He Know?".
A six-point counter to as many accusations followed. The list was topped by Mr Gandhi's claim that PM Modi had waived loans to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh crores of 15 top industrialists.
Claiming that the loans were given largely during the UPA government, Mr Jaitley wrote, "The Government has not waived of a single rupee due from any industrialist. Those who owed money to the banks and other creditors have been declared insolvent and removed from their companies by IBC enacted by Prime Minister Modi's Government".
Regarding the other big allegation of Mr Gandhi -- that loans are available not for farmers, but for industrialists, the finance minister said the situation was truer of the two UPA governments, when "bulk of amount constitute the NPAs today were given by the banking system during the period 2008-14". The NDA government, he said, has been systematically trying to recover the money.
Rahul Gandhi had also raised the Congress allegation of PM Modi giving Rs 35,000 crore each to celebrity diamond trader Nirav Modi and his aide Mehul Choksey. "This banking fraud started in the year 2011 when the UPA II was in power. It was only detected during the NDA period," Mr Jaitley wrote.
Dubbing it a case if "inadequate knowledge", Mr Jaitley said, in 2014, when the UPA went out of power, there were only two mobile phone manufacturing units in India. "In 2018, with the result of our electronics policy and the incentives in a four year period, this has increased to 120 units with an investment of Rs.1,32,000 crores," he wrote
On Mr Gandhi's allegation of no jobs being created in the tenure of the Narendra Modi government, Mr Jaitley pointed to economic indicators and their healthy state. "There is a double digit growth in construction, expansion in manufacturing, an increased capital formation which indicates investment increase, large investment in physical infrastructure and increased investment in rural India," he wrote.
The Congress swiftly issued a rejoinder, calling Mr Jaitley's arguments a "travesty of facts and trivialization of Farmers' issues". A statement from the party contradicted each point in detail, saying it was based on "facts as presented to the Nation by their (BJP's) own Government".
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