- After Yashwant Sinha's scathing piece on economy, rebuttal by son
- Jayant Sinha is union minister, wrote op-ed rejecting father's claims
- Easy and cheap to dismiss me as frustrated, bitter: Yashwant Sinha
Yesterday, Yashwant Sinha uncapped his pen and took apart Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's decisions in an opinion piece in which he described the economy as a "mess" that will not resuscitate before the next general election. He told NDTV on Thursday that he does not believe Arun Jaitley should resign, but that the need of the hour is for the government to take stock "within the next 15 days" of stalled projects in which crores are tied up, and "decide which ones to cancel and which should move forward." Critics have said that his assessment deliberately avoids indicting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He, was, however, clear that "the buck stops with the Finance Minister".
He also said that those who may share his concerns within the BJP are afraid to speak up because they are worried they will not be re-nominated as candidates for the next election, now just two years away. As for himself, he said, he opted out of electoral politics in 2014 by informing then party president Rajnath Singh that he would not run for parliament. So those who claim he is irascible because his political ambitions have been thwarted by an unfriendly PM are wrong, he said.
"Demonetisation came when the economy was already declining," he said about the PM's sudden banning of high-denomination notes. "It was hardly the right time for massive disruption of the economy. When demonetisation was done, it was well known that government was working on GST...everyone familiar with subject would have known that GST would be another big disruptor of the economy. Sequencing has been wrong, they have come in close succession of each other."
In response to the forecast that both reforms will help make big gains in the future, he said, "Whatever merit there may be in the long term, there is lots of pain and disruption in the short term."