Thursday, 28 September 2017

'We can't blame UPA for declining economy, we had enough chance,' says Yashwant Sinha

'We can't blame UPA for declining economy, we had enough chance,' says Yashwant Sinha

NEW DELHI: After igniting a political firestorm+ with a column criticising the government's economic policy, the BJP's Yashwant Sinha on Thursday went even further by clearly absolving the earlier Congress-led UPA government for a slowdown in growth.

"The economy is in decline. We can't blame the previous government, we had plenty of time and chances," said Sinha, when asked about his comments in the column he wrote, which appeared yesterday.

Sinha said that the economy has been on the downswing for a while now, but "I did not speak".

"I am not talking just based on one quarter's numbers, the economy has been falling for six straight quarters," said Sinha.

The biggest culprit that made a bad situation near-catastrophic is demonetisation, said Sinha who had called the move "an unmitigated economic disaster" in his column.

"The biggest culprit for growth slowing is the note ban. A thorough study should have been done on its effects to the economy, to jobs and it should have been introduced when the economy was in a healthy state, not in the manner it was introduced," said Sinha.

As for GST, Sinha had written that its rollout was "badly conceived and poorly implemented". He reiterated that today.

"After the demonetisation shocker, GST was another one. What was the need to hurry? They could have launched it in October," said Sinha.

In his column, Sinha tore the government's economic policies to shreds and blasted finance minister Arun Jaitley.

What was Sinha's picture of the Indian economy in his column? He explained in a tirade of a sentence.

"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, demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated economic disaster, a badly conceived and poorly implemented GST has played havoc with businesses and sunk many of them and countless millions have lost their jobs with hardly any new opportunities coming the way of the new entrants to the labour market," wrote Sinha.

A dazed BJP responded+ by launching Yashwant's son, Union minister Jayant Sinha into the battleground.


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