Amid severe criticism over the government's handling of the economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre is following the "right economic policy", adding that it didn’t indulge in populism. The government has been attacked by political rivals and by former union ministers like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie over the slide on growth in the last economic quarter, blaming the slowdown on demonetisation and over what the opposition has called the poor implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "Populism is what we didn't indulge in ... if we had indulged in populism, we would have said, 'alright, let people deal in a cash-dominated economy, let India continue to have a shadow economy and everybody prosper on that basis’ and therefore, we struck a blow to that kind of an economy. That's not populism. That was the right economic policy to follow and obviously, I think there are many in the system who normally don't see beyond their nose," Mr Jaitley said, defending the government’s policies.