A day after HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh went public regarding the “creeping impatience” in India Inc over the slow economic growth under Modi’s government as well as the lack of visible changes on the ground, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday defended the government, saying it is ironic that it is being criticised even when it is trying to push reforms through the ordinance route.
Speaking at a function to launch the portal ‘e-Biz’, Jaitley, in a veiled reference to Parekh’s comments, said: “It’s an irony that after having seen lethargic governments, you today have a government which is criticised for being too fast.”
Maintaining that the government opted for the ordinance route to fast-track legislative changes to promote businesses, he said: (People are saying) why do you bring ordinances, you should wait till the cows come home and everybody can be settled and decisions can be taken. So in fact one great criticism which has come is you should have waited and not acted fast.”
Referring to UPA rule, he said it only managed to score a lot of “self goals”. “In a country where you are not certain whether you will get land to set up business, you are not certain as to the stability and predictability of taxation, and I think we scored too many self goals in the past,” he said. Jaitley said the “ultra aggressive” tax policy of the UPA, including the retrospective taxation, not only shooed away global investors but also prompted domestic investors to consider business friendly overseas destinations for investment.