The Congress on Thursday described Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks on former finance minister Yashwant Sinha as disappointing as they were “marked by arrogance, disdain and a lot of jumlas”. The main Opposition party also warned that the economy could slip into depression.
“The Finance Minister in his usual style tried to escape blame and responsibility, shift goal posts and deny accountability. All he did was insult the former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha by passing remarks that should be unacceptable in political life. India is fed up of Modinomics as also Jaitleynomics,” said Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala.
The BJP government is all about economic mismanagement and blatant inspector raj, he said, adding that if the Prime Minister and Finance Minister do not go for course correction, both will have the luxury of becoming former prime minister and former finance minister soon.
“If I am to put it in Arun Jaitley’s words, unless desperate and effective measures are taken to set the economic course right, Jaitley will have the distinction and luxury of becoming the former finance minister himself. He did not utter a word on jobs… on inflation… did not answer as to how exports have become lowest as percentage of the GDP… how gross capital formation is at its lowest in the last 14 years… he did not tell the country as to why manufacturing PMI is the lowest in the last eight years and credit growth lowest in last 63 years,” Surjewala said.
Sinha, in an opinion piece published in The Indian Express on Wednesday, had written that the economy was in a downward spiral, its revival unlikely by the 2019 elections and a “hard landing appears inevitable”.
On Thursday, the Congress stepped up its attack on the government, alleging that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were guilty of “monumental mismanagement of economy”.
“India is in real danger of slipping into economic depression. The government must release a white paper on the state of the Indian economy to restore the health of PSU banks through urgently needed recapitalisation and the measures it proposes to arrest the free fall,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
“PM Modi is singularly responsible for inflicting grave damage on the economy by his reckless decisions including demonetisation and hasty imposition of a flawed GST. The disastrous implementation has hurt the industry, small entrepreneurs and traders. The informal sector has been badly hit. Small businesses are shutting down, resulting in more job losses… Tax terrorism has been let loose as input credit refunds are not made,” he said.