Responding to decline in GDP growth to 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 and the tension prevailing in Kashmir, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari asked Arun Jaitley to clear whether he is a part time finance or defence minister, reported news agency ANI. “First of all Mr Jaitley should tell us if he is a part-time Finance Minister or part time Defence Minister,” Manish Tewari was quoted saying by the agency. He further added that government is not taking defence matters seriously and the economy is suffering at the same time as well. “This is how seriously the Govt takes Defence matters, on the other hand, the economy is up the creek without a paddle,” Tewari added.
Earlier in the day, Arun Jaitley held a press conference on three years of Modi government and said India has taken several steps to ease tension but Pakistan responded by terror attacks at Pathankot, Uri and mutilating the bodies of Indian soldiers. “The Government of India has taken significant steps to ease the situation in the past… The fact that our Prime Minister dropped in at Lahore at a social function in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, were all steps intended to ease the tension,” he said.
Here’s what Arun Jaitley said:
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“But each one of these have been responded by, let us say, a Pathankot or a Uri or by mutilation of two of our soldiers. And, therefore, that environment which must exist for a talk has been successfully prevented by Pakistan,” Jaitley added. However, he lauded the efforts of the security forces and the pressure they have built. “The security forces have been able to build up a lot of pressure on them, and the results, some of which are evident almost on a daily basis… The situation in Kashmir is better than the impression,” he said.
Playing down the impact of demonetisation on India’s GDP, Jaitely said, “Seven-eight per cent growth is fairly reasonable level of growth and very good by global standard and reasonable by Indian standard.”