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Yashwant Sinha says Arun Jaitley is working over-time to make sure all Indians see poverty

Yashwant Sinha says Arun Jaitley is working over-time to make sure all Indians see poverty

The BJP leader termed the demonetisation as an unmitigated economic disaster and GST - a badly conceived and poorly implemented move that have played havoc with businesses.

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today came down heavily on current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for making Indian economy a mess. In an stinging article written in the Indian Express, Sinha said that Jaitley was lucky to have taken charge at a time when global business environment was favorable and depressed global crude oil prices placed at his disposal lakhs of crores of rupees. But, according to him, the oil profit has been wasted. "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," he said.

The BJP leader termed the demonetisation as an unmitigated economic disaster and GST - a badly conceived and poorly implemented move that have played havoc with businesses. The GST was rolled out on July 1. The key macro-economic data revealed that after the launch of the new tax regime the country's manufacturing output came down in July. Some reports suggest that the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was at its lowest mark in July since February 2009.        

The former Minister underlined the current crisis in the Indian economy and said: "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." He further said that millions of people have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market.
 
Sinha's remarks have come at a time when India's GDP growth has touched three-year low of 5.7 per cent, declining further from the 6.1 per cent  growth in the preceding quarter. The Economic Survey had projected a growth of 6.75 per cent to 7.5 per cent for 2017-18. He said that the reasons for this decline were not far to seek nor have they appeared suddenly. But, he suggested, the reasons were allowed to accumulate over time to cause the present economic crisis.

Yashwant Sinha has put the blame, partly, on Prime Minister Modi for giving multiple portfolio to Arun Jaitley. Sinha said that he had handled the Ministry of Finance and know how much hard work there is in the Finance Ministry alone. But, currently Arun Jaitly is handling three different -Finance Ministry, Department of Disinvestment and Corporate Affairs- portfolios.
 
Sinha explained as to how multiple portfolios for Jaitley has affected the economy. He said that it was not difficult to anticipate the reasons for current economic crisis and take counter measures to deal with them. "But that called for devoting time to the task, serious application of mind, understanding of the issues and then working out a game plan to tackle them. It was perhaps too much to expect from a person who was carrying the heavy burden of so many extra responsibilities," Sinha said.
 
Perhaps, in what could be the most stinging charge at the functioning of the government, Sinha said: "We protested against raid raj when we were in opposition. Today it has become the order of the day." He said this while refereeing to the government's latest instruction to Income Tax Department to probe the unusually higher input tax credit claim. Sinha also said that after demonetisation, tax sleuths have been charged with the responsibility of investigating lakhs of cases involving the fate of millions of people. "The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI also have their plates full. Instilling fear in the minds of the people is the name of the new game," Sinha wrote.
 
Leaving a message for the government, Sinha said that 'economies are destroyed more easily than they are built'. According to him, the revival of the economy by the time of the next Lok Sabha election in 2019 is highly unlikely. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi, he said: "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."
 
Sinha's critical observation has come a day after the Prime Minister formed a five-member Economic Advisory Council to address the key challenged ahead of Indian economy. He isn't the only BJP politician who has warned the government for the crisis. Earlier this month, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy also said that the economy was in a tailspin. Last year, he wrote a 16-page letter to the Prime Minister in which he said: "The economy is in its early phase of a tailspin. If curative measures are not taken then a major crash is inevitable."