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Jaitley: Credibility of economists running country at stake

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sitting in the Rajya Sabha and listening,BJP’s Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that “the credibility of the economists who administer the country’s economy is at stake”....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 5, 2010 12:49:43 am

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sitting in the Rajya Sabha and listening,BJP’s Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that “the credibility of the economists who administer the country’s economy is at stake”.

Speaking on the debate on price rise in the House,Jaitley said containing inflation was “a mirage for this government,which drives through the desert… It is a government of alibis”.

The PM left the Rajya Sabha soon after Jaitley finished speaking. He had come minutes before the BJP leader started talking on the issue of price rise.

While food inflation has declined from 23 per cent,even 12 per cent is very high,Jaitley said. Accusing the government of “snatching dal-roti”,he said price rise was an “unlegislated tax” on the common citizen and was “eroding” the purchasing power of people.

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Referring to promises by Singh and his ministers to check price rise,Jaitley said: “Alibi is not a substitute for tears and hunger of the common man. This government needs to have little compassion.”

He raised the issue of rotting of foodgrains in the absence of storage facility,calling it “callousness and irresponsibility unmatched in history”. According to Jaitley,the figure of 61,000 tonnes of rotting foodgrains was an understatement.

Talking about the Commonwealth Games controversy,Jaitley said the government was busy allowing people to generate private wealth in the name of Commonwealth Games. “The whole nation watches with anger that it is not merely the stadiums which are leaking,it is the government’s coffers…,” he said.

Jaitley asked why the government hadn’t got its investigative agencies to probe the 2G spectrum scam,while the CBI was “freely used” against the Opposition and its leaders.

Accusing UPA allies of becoming individual power centres,Jaitley added,“Somebody is sitting in Kolkata who cannot be disciplined… There is an island of governance in Chennai.”

Refuting Jaitley,Congress MP Jayanthi Natarajan said instead of providing a roadmap,the main Opposition was trying to get political mileage from price rise.

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