Even as BJP Member of Parliament and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha launched a blistering attack on Narendra Modi government on predicted economic slowdown, the Centre downplayed such criticism on Wednesday. Writing in The Indian Express under the headline “I need to speak up now”, Sinha criticised Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over what he called the “mess the finance minister has made of the economy”.
Sinha was himself the finance minister in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA-I government. However, he has been sidelined in the present regime. In the article, Sinha claimed an economic revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha election was “highly unlikely” and a “hard landing” appeared inevitable.
However, Modi government rejected Sinha’s criticism of the economy. Addressing media after the Cabinet meeting today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh downplayed Sinha. India’s economy is fastest growing in the world and the country’s credibility has been established in the international arena, Singh said adding, no one should forget these facts about the country.
“The whole world admits that India is the fastest growing economy in the world. No one should forget this fact. In the matter of economy, in the international arena, India’s credibility has been established,” Singh told reporters.
In the article, Sinha particularly targeted Jaitley, while sparing PM Modi.
Sinha claimed that Jaitley led the economy to “mess” despite being considered to be the “best and the brightest” in this government. The former FM also alluded that Jaitley failed as he was burdened with too many responsibilities. “In challenging times it becomes more than a 24/7 job. Naturally, even a superman like Jaitley could not do justice to the task,” he said.
According to Sinha, Jaitley failed to take corrective measures in time as “he was carrying the heavy burden of so many extra responsibilities. The results are there for all of us to see.”
On the state of economy, the former FM wrote, “…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.”