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Yashwant Sinha sticks to his guns as BJP rebuts his criticism of economy



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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Yashwant Sinha on Thursday stood by the article in which he had criticised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for making a mess of the economy and followed it up with further, specific details of lapses on the part of the government.

Sinha, speaking to ANI on Thursday, said, “We have all known for many days that the Indian economy has been seeing a decline… This process has been going for the past one-and-a-half years… Even then I kept silent.. The latest GDP figures came out and growth rate fell below 6% and the concerns grew deeper. The government didn’t say anything for over a week, then I felt that I should bring the issue to the public domain.”

“Before 2014, I was the party [BJP) spokesperson when it came to economic affairs. We used to call then United Progressive Alliance [UPA] government situation ‘Policy Paralysis’. This government is not paralysed as many decisions are being taken. But, there is confusion in the government that development can be done through welfare schemes, which is not right,” he said to news agency ANI.

“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.

“Demonetisation shouldn’t have been brought when economy was weak. Its effects were yet to subside and GST served as second big blow,” Sinha said. “I was a supporter of GST. Govt was in a hurry to implement it from July. Now, GSTN which is the backbone is failing,” he said.

Responding to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s comments on Wednesday, saying that India was one of the fastest growing economies of the world, he said, “maybe Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal know the economy better so they think India is the backbone of the world economy. I politely disagree.”

“If you leave out Congress finance ministers then I am the only person who presented 7 budgets,” he said.

When asked about his son, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha’s editorial in the Times of India on Thursday being seen as a rebuttal of his own position, Yashwant Sinha said, “There is no family feud over this. I haven’t spoken to him recently. So I don’t know whether he was asked to write this or he wrote it on his own. In any case it is a demonstration that he is being trusted to put forward the government’s view on policy. Well and good, then why was he removed from the Finance Ministry.”

“It is not a father and son issue. If Jayant Sinha has written what he has, its his own sweet will. …If he has been asked, I would say it was a cheap trick to pit father against son. Haven’t spoken to him today,” he told NDTV.

His own prescriptions for the recovery of the Indian economy, he said, was to start from strengthening the banking system and weeding out the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). “Apart from everything else, the first and foremost goal of the government is to strengthen the banks, but we are awaiting actions in this regard,” he said.

On claims by the government that its work would benefit the country in the long run, he responded by quoting John Maynard Keynes that “In the long run, we are all dead.”

Sinha, a veteran leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, earlier said poorly executed policy shifts had stalled growth. “Economies are destroyed more easily than they are built,” he wrote in The Indian Express on Wednesday.

He also absolved the previous, UPA government of responsibility for the current situation. “We can’t blame the government before us as we got the full chance,” he said.

Sinha told NDTV he had sought to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi a year ago, but was yet to hear back from his office about the appointment. “I had sought an appointment to meet the PM a year ago. He has not met me. Should I be sitting in protest outside his house,” Sinha said.

“No one is willing to listen to us in the government and the party,” he added.

Fielded to defend the government against him, Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha said in a TOI piece on Thursday that conclusions drawn from a narrow set of facts simply missed the fundamental structural reforms transforming the economy. “We are creating a robust new economy that will power longterm growth and job creation”.

Jayant Sinha’s rebuttal piece talks about the ‘New India’ which will be built on the foundation of Modi’s economic policies. It argues that measures such as demonetisation and introduction of goods and services tax (GST) will act as building blocks by bringing in formalisation in the economy as a result of which a) tax collections will go up and more resources will be made available to the state; b) friction will reduce in the economy and GDP will rise; and c) citizens will be able to establish credit more effectively as transaction records are digitised.

He also talks about the improvement in FDI inflows from $36 billion in 2013-14 to $60 billion in 2016-17, the government’s various policy initiatives such as bankruptcy code, energy sector initiatives, subsidy reforms through Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile backed direct benefit transfer (DBT). Further, Sinha talks about the progress made on rural electrification, infrastructure push, employment promotion programmes of the Modi government.

But Jayant Sinha’s rebuttal does not answer his father’s criticism on specific issues which are borne out by data: “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.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Bihar caste census results: Greater population, greater rights is our pledge, says Rahul Gandhi

RJD president Lalu Yadav also issued a statement noting that the exercise will set the tone for nationwide caste census which will be undertaken when they form the next government at the Centre. 



Bihar caste census results: Greater population, greater rights is our pledge, says Rahul Gandhi

Nitish Kumar led Bihar government revealed caste survey results on Monday. The opposition including the Congress welcomed the results and urged the central government to conduct a similar exercise at the national level. 

Speaking on the matter, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is also a vocal supporter of nationwide caste census, stated that Bihar’s survey revealed that 84 percent of the people in the state are Other Backward Classes (OBC’s), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribe (STs). He added that their rights should be provided based on their population. 

Taking to Twitter, he wrote that out of 90 secretaries of the central government, only three are OBCs, who handle only 5 per cent of India’s budget. Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India. He further mentioned that greater the population, the greater the rights and that it is their pledge. 

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the caste census results revealed the economic situation of the people belonging to different groups. He added that the census will help the government to take action in order to ascertain social justice and upliftment of all sections. 

The Janata Dal (United) leader also called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday to share the details of Bihar caste census report and deliberate what further steps needed to be taken. Reports stated that nine parties are expected to participate in the meeting. 

RJD president Lalu Yadav, who is Kumar’s ally also issued a statement noting that the exercise will set the tone for nationwide caste census which will be undertaken when they form the next government at the Centre. 

Meanwhile, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh urged the centre to release the results of caste census. He added that holding caste-census has become essential for providing a firmer foundation for social empowerment programmes and for deepening social justice.

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Madhya Pradesh: PM Modi lays foundation stone for projects worth Rs 19,000 crore in Gwalior

PM Modi underscored that the double engine government brought Madhya Pradesh among the top 10 states in terms of development.



Madhya Pradesh: PM Modi lays foundation stone for projects worth Rs 19,000 crore in Gwalior

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for projects worth more than Rs 19,000 crore in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday. Addressing a gathering in Gwalior, PM Modi said that their target is to ensure Madhya Pradesh emerges as one of the top three states, adding that the vote of the people of the state will help them achieve this goal. 

He claimed that people who had 60 years could not bring development and always played with the sentiments of the poor and divided the society on the basis of caste. Asserting that the opposition have hatred towards growth because of their politics, PM Modi underlined that Madhya Pradesh has faith in the double engine government which means double development of the state. 

He further noted that the next five years would be crucial for Madhya Pradesh’s development and that the double engine government is necessary in the state. He mentioned that nearly 2.25 lakh families will enter into their new homes before Dussehra, Dhanteras and Diwali this year in Madhya Pradesh.

The Prime Minister stated that under the government of vikas-virodhi (apparently referring to opposition), law and order collapses. He noted that beheading took place openly in Rajasthan. He asserted that in states ruled by the opposition, crime and corruption have increased.

PM Modi underscored that the double engine government brought Madhya Pradesh among the top 10 states in terms of development. In addition, he hailed that Gwalior-Chambal has given bravehearts for the security of the country. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi further guaranteed that India will be one of the top three economies in the world in the next few years. The Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be carried out in Madhya Pradesh in or before November 2023. Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed a rally in poll bound Rajasthan.

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Congress left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan: PM Modi in Chittorgarh rally

PM Modi asserted that the paper leak mafia will be held accountable and will be given harshest punishment.



Congress left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan: PM Modi in Chittorgarh rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a scathing attack on Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the infighting of Congress in the state. He slammed the state government over multiple issues, including crime against women. He claimed that the Congress government in the state has left no stone unturned to loot Rajasthan. 

Addressing a public rally in Chittorgarh in poll-bound Rajasthan, PM Narendra Modi stated that the state has decided to save themselves by bringing back the BJP government. He asserted that the Congress formed the government by misleading people but could not run it, adding that CM Gehlot was busy saving his chair, whereas half of the Congress leaders were actively trying to unseat him. 

The Prime Minister further claimed that CM Ashok Gehlot has accepted defeat and is requesting BJP to not stop schemes. He assured that on coming to power in Rajasthan, BJP will not stop any public scheme but will try to improve it. He also accused the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government of destroying the state in the last five years by not taking adequate steps to combat crime against women. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed that it pains him that the state tops in the crime list. He continued that he is pained when atrocities take place against daughters anywhere in the country but Congress has made this a tradition in Rajasthan. He added that the message of people of Rajasthan has reached Congress leaders and that the Chief Minister is also aware that the countdown of Congress government’s farewell has begun. 

Speaking on the alleged paper leak issue, PM Modi asserted that the paper leak mafia will be held accountable and will be given harshest punishment. He noted that they will go to the bottom of the paper leak matter and actions will be taken against those who have committed corruption and looted money of the poor.

While addressing the gathering in the poll bound Rajasthan, PM Modi underlined that they are witnessing how leaders of Congress alliance are issuing derogatory remarks about women. He claimed that the alliance is very angry with the Women’s Reservation Act and that they don’t want women to get their rights.

He remarked that there is only one face in elections and that is (Kamal) lotus. The 2023 Rajasthan Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be held in or before November. 

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