not in the finance ministry. But since my return to the ministry, we have acknowledged the difficult situation in which the Indian economy is placed and we have fought our way out of that difficult situation. Can anyone deny that the economy, in the last 17 months, has been stabilised and the exchange rate stabilised? We have added significantly to the foreign exchange reserves and we have shown determination in containing the fiscal deficit and the current account deficit. So in the last 17 months, we have shown the will to fight.
But the twin deficits did affect investor sentiment.
But there are at least 50 countries that have worse deficit ratios. Why doesn’t anybody talk about their downgrade? I maintain there was no justification at any time to talk about or hint at a downgrade for India.
Hasn’t the country lost significant time because of poor decision making, including in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in the last couple of years?
There was a problem in the Ministry of Environment and Forests. But I think that problem has been fixed now.
The prime minister has said Narendra Modi was a disaster for India. Do you agree with this view?
I think what he meant was a BJP government headed by Shri Narendra Modi will be a very poor choice for the next government. And I agree with him. A BJP government headed by Shri Narendra Modi would most likely combine Luddite economics and majoritarian politics. That will be a disastrous combination for India.
But then the Congress’s support without any conditions to the Aam Admi Party in Delhi has also resulted in a confrontational government. How do you justify that?
That is a decision taken by the local unit of the Congress party in Delhi. I think opinion was divided within the Congress whether the party should offer outside support to the AAP or not. Whether it was a right decision or otherwise, time will say. But let me reiterate, opinion was divided within the party.
Do you think it was a wrong decision?
I think it was an unnecessary decision. No decision was called for. We had