Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday lashed out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and breakaway BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha for their remarks on India’s economic growth, high fuel prices, and inflation. “Those who predicted a two per cent decline in GDP growth have been conclusively proved wrong,” Arun Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post. Manmohan Singh had predicted that India’s GDP will be hit by about 2 percentage points in the aftermath of demonetisation in 2016.
Arun Jaitley said that the fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew a whopping 7.7%, making India the fastest growing global economy. “With structural reforms like demonetisation, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the enforcement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, we had two challenging quarters,” said Arun Jaitley. Pointing at the 7.7% growth, Arun Jaitley said that the future looks much brighter than the past. “This trend is likely to continue for some years,” he said.
“A distinguished predecessor of mine feared that he may have to live his future in poverty. We have enabled every Indian to be a part of the world’s fastest growing economy,” he wrote. Notably, former party veteran and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who recently broke away to form his own party, had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed to have seen poverty from close quarters, and blamed that his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see poverty from equally close quarters.
Arun Jaitley also criticised former finance minister P Chidambaram for his comments on a tax cut on oil on account of a recent surge in petrol and diesel prices to record highs, calling it a “trap” suggestion. “Another distinguished predecessor of mine had stated that the tax on oil should be cut by 25 rupees per litre. He never endeavored to do so himself. This is a “Trap” suggestion,” wrote Jaitley.
Jaitley said that the suggestion was intended to push India into an unmanageable debt. “We must remember that the economy and the markets reward structural reforms, fiscal prudence, and macro-economic stability. They punish fiscal indiscipline and irresponsibility,” he said, adding: “The transformation from UPA’s ‘policy paralysis’ to the NDA’s ‘fastest growing economy’ conclusively demonstrates this.”