Yashwant Sinha Fails Arun Jaitley Big Time, Praises Nitin Gadkari

BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha described demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the "two major disruptions that have slowed down the economy".

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Yashwant Sinha Fails Arun Jaitley Big Time, Praises Nitin Gadkari

Yashwant Sinha criticised centre's notes ban, GST; praised Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Yashwant Sinha skewers government economic policy in op-ed
  2. Only Nitin Gadkari took steps to remove bottlenecks, says Sinha
  3. Says demonetisation and GST two major disruptions that have hit economy
After a complete takedown of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Indian Express today, senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha spoke to NDTV and expanded on his view that the economy will not recover by 2019 when the next national election is due. The only exception to his targeted missiles was Nitin Gadkari, the Minister for Road Transport and Water Resources.

The government "did not try seriously" to remove the bottlenecks which had led to policy paralysis during the previous Congress-led UPA rule, he said. "Big projects remained stalled as except Nitin Gadkari, no other minister took urgent steps to remove the bottlenecks," noted the 84-year-old, whose son Jayant Sinha is a union minister.

Describing demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the "two major disruptions that have slowed down the economy", Mr Sinha said GST - pitched as the biggest tax reform since independence - should have been implemented in October instead of July. "The government hurried through GST," he said, sounding a lot like several opposition leaders.

Yashwant Sinha also suggested that demand had weakened, making it difficult to revive growth sentiment in the economy. "The economic slowdown has had a negative impact on employment generation as well. It is making it difficult for the Modi government to create jobs as promised." New private investments had not happened as expected, he added.

yashwant sinha
 

"New private investments have not happened in the economy as was expected," says Yashwant Sinha

In the Indian Express article that has set the cat among the pigeons - titled "I need to speak up now" - Mr Sinha grimly notes what he calls "the mess the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) has made" of the economy and comments that many are silent out of "fear".

"I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the Finance Minister has made of the economy. I am also convinced that what I am going to say reflects the sentiments of a large number of people in the BJP and elsewhere who are not speaking up out of fear," writes the veteran sidelined by the BJP after the Narendra Modi government took charge in 2014.
 
arun jaitley

Yashwant Sinha said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made a "mess" of the economy

"Bluff and bluster is fine for the hustings, it evaporates in the face of reality. The Prime Minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters."

Reacting to the sucker-punch, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: "India's record is well-known across the world. It is one of the fastest growing economies and its role is acknowledged well."

The Congress seized on the article to put out a series of I-told-you-so tweets, with Rahul Gandhi sneering: "Ladies & Gentlemen, this is your copilot & FM speaking. Plz fasten your seat belts & take brace position. The wings have fallen off our plane."

Mr Sinha broadly paints a bleak picture of the economy: "Private investment has shrunk as never before in two decades, industrial production has all but collapsed, agriculture is in distress, construction industry, a big employer of the work force, is in the doldrums, the rest of the service sector is also in the slow lane, exports have dwindled, sector after sector of the economy is in distress, demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster, a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market."

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