Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move and current state of Indian economy continue to remain the bone of contention between BJP and Congress. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh took a dig at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, terming the latter as “the master of spin.” He had also trashed the move to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, saying it was based on “spurious and dubious economic logic”. Ramesh, however, has said the demonetisation move was a “smart political strategy,” according to The Indian Express report.
“Time for spin is over and now, it is time for looking at hard realities. The hard reality is, the economy is subdued, investment sentiment is subdued, investor sentiment is subdued, and I think, he should address some of the structural issues of the economy rather than claiming great victory on the budget as exemplified by the election results. I do not believe that the election results, in any way, negate the conclusion that demonetisation may have been a smart political move, but it has been a singularly disastrous economic move,” Ramesh said.
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Casting aspersion over the Narendra Modi and BJP’s claims about black money being recovered post demonetisation, Ramesh cited to a statement each by MoS (Finance) Jayant Sinha, Ramesh — that “the UPA had unearthed Rs 1,31,000 crore in black money in its last two years — and by Jaitley — that the NDA had unearthed Rs 1,25,000 crore in black money between May 26, 2014, and November 8, 2016,” according to the report.
Claiming that the country’s economy has slowed down during the NDA, Ramesh said the economy grew at an average 7.4 per cent during the UPA’s 10 years. About the budget, Ramesh said it is already part of history, all the criticism has been made, “all the spin has been introduced, all the political dividend that had to be got has been obtained”.
Ramesh has attcked the government over an array of issues. Recently, calling for a Sebi probe into ONGCs sudden decision to buy GSPCs stake in KG basin gas block for USD 1.2 billion, Congress MP Jairman Ramesh had said the PSU had flouted listing guidelines and did not secure approval of minority shareholders for the transaction. In an open letter to Sebi Chairman U K Sinha, he had said as per Oil and Natural Gas Corps (ONGC) own admission, it and GSPC are related parties of the Government of India.
“It is needless to say that there is indeed a strong relationship between the Government of Gujarat that owns GSPC and approved its borrowing binge between 2005 and 2014 and the Government of India that owns ONGC, which suddenly after 2014 seems to have had a realisation that buying GSPCs gas block in KG basin is a virtue. Clearly, this entire ONGC- GSPC deal is an utter sham,” he wrote.
(With agency inputs)