Sinha attacks Jaitley in Gujarat but terms ease-of-doing-business achievement as thing to be proud of

Ahmedabad:

Rebel BJP leader and former union minister Yashwant Sinha today again criticized finance minister Arun Jaitley for his alleged failures in implementation of demonetization and GST and reiterated that people of the country have every right to seek his resignation.

He even went on to term him a ‘burden on Gujarat’ from where he was a Rajyasabha member but the veteran leader said that the improvement in the position of India in the recent report of the world-bank on ease of doing business was a matter to be proud of for every Indian.

Sinha, who had arrived here on a three day visit of poll bound Gujarat reportedly against the will of the BJP and on invitation of an alleged pro-congress NGO told newsmen here that poor implementation of GST, which otherwise was a good tax-system and demonetization has put the economy in a crisis and rendered large number of people jobless and hit the small businesses very hard.

‘Finance Minister Jaitely whom I do not consider a Gujarati despite his election for Rajyasabha from the state was responsible for all this mess. Had he not been elected any other Gujarati would have got a chance in his place and it would have been better,’ he said.

Notably Jaitley who was also currently the election in-charge of ruling BJP in Gujarat for the crucial assembly polls to be held in December had to retain the Gujarat Rajyasabha seat on which he was elected unopposed in 2012 after his humiliating defeat from Amritsar Loksabha seat in Punjab despite the Modi wave in last general election in 2014.

Sinha after his hard-hitting article on the shape of the Indian economy a few weeks back was after that constantly at loggerheads with Jaitley.

He said that Jaitley who was now indulged in “ad hoc”changes in GST was responsible for all the “anomalies” in the tax regime. He seemingly want to take credit in all the situations despite putting the economy in crisis by implementing a flawed tax regime. He perhaps believes in the principle of Head I win and Tail you lose. The country and its people have every right to demand his resignation. He should loose his job. Sinha also said that Jaitely who himself had once advocated for one tax regime has no right to call Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s such remark as childish.

Sinha accepted that the Modi government had received some problems from the previous government like the NPAs of the banking system and stalled projects, which needed to be addressed. After the 3 and a half years projects worth around Rs 18 lakh crore were still stalled while the NPAs were still around 8 lakh crores. This has made the growth rate has fall to 5.7% (as per old calculation 3.5%) while it was during the last quarter of the UPA government was 6.5 (old 4.7%). Demonetization has caused around 20 lakh job losses and none of its said objectives including hitting out at black money have been achieved.

He said that GST in itself was a good initiative but was poorly implemented and earned a bad name. NDA had during UPA regime vehemently opposed it and the then finance minister of Gujarat Saurabh Patel even went on record to say that its implementation would incur a loss of Rs 9000 crores to Gujarat. it was still in the record of the related parliamentary proceedings. He said that to improve the economic situation there should be fundamental change in GST and the ad-hoc approach should be immediately done away with. A committee should be set up under the chairmanship of Vijay Kelkar, the former chairman of the 13th Finance Commission who recommended the implementation of GST in 2003 and the finance minister and the cabinet should consult this committee time to time. This would, he claimed, improve the economy drastically in a couple of months and even before the time the government presents its next budget.”

He termed the improvement of India’s rank in ease of doing business a thing for Indians to be proud of.

‘We accept the praises from outside but reject the criticism from within the country whereas the case should be that we should pay more heed to what India thinks about us that what the world thinks,’ he said.

DeshGujarat

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