A day after writing a scathing article against Narendra Modi government on economic slowdown, former Union Finance Minister and BJP MP Yashwant Sinha recalled economist JM Keynes’ famous quote to criticise the Centre’s economic initiatives in the last three years. One of the most controversial decisions taken by Modi government since 2014 was demonetisation, which was claimed by PM Modi as an initiative that will bring “long-term gain” followed by the “short-term pain.”
However, talking to ANI today, Sinha commented, “They (government) talk about the long run. But I recall a quote of Keynes: ‘In the long run we are all dead’.” He further said, “Demonetisation shouldn’t have been brought when the economy was weak, its effects were yet to subside as GST served as second big blow to economy.”
Interestingly, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also quoted Keynes while commenting on the demonetisation decision last year. “Those who say demonetisation is good in the long run should recall the quote: ‘In the long run we are all dead’.” Singh had also said that “monumental mismanagement” was undertaken in implementation of demonetisation.
Sinha today said it had been known for long that economy was slowing down. “Before 2014, I was party spokesperson when it came to economic affairs and we used to call UPA situation then as Policy Paralysis.” But, “now we cannot blame the previous government because we got full opportunity.”
On GST, Sinha said, “I was a supporter of GST. But the government was in a hurry to implement it from July. Now, GSTN which is the backbone is failing.”
The former FM also commented on Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Rajnath Singh, who have defended economic policies of the government. “Maybe Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal know economy more than me, so they think India is the backbone of world’s economy. I politely disagree,” he said.
Writing in The Indian Express on Wednesday, Sinha had blamed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for making a “mess” of the Indian economy. Sinha served as Finance Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and presented seven Union Budgets.