Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha today asked the Modi government as why it did not take any step to solve the NPA (Non performing asset) and the stalled project issues that it inherited from the previous UPA government.
“We can’t keep playing the blame game, can’t keep saying we inherited NPA mess from UPA,” he said and added that Modi and Jaitley have to answer the people when they go into election in 2019.
Sinha, in an interview to ET Now today, however said that his intention was not to spread gloom and doom.
“The indian economy has been in the decline for six quarters. At 5.7 per cent this is the lowest growth in 3 years. so there is a consistent decline,” he said.
Recalling his own tenure in the Finance Ministry, Sinha said that in 1998 there was a bigger NPA crisis.
“In 1998 I inherited a much bigger NPA mess. It was a very serious issue. We took a series of steps. We changed the debt tribunal law and created a number of benches so that cases can be resolved. I created the asset recreation company to which NPAs were transferred. I changed the managedment …debt resolution scheme was introduced….I acted on a number of fronts as a result of which NPA ceased to be an issue during my time,” he said.
Slamming Jaitley for not using the low crude oil prices properly, he said that in 1998 he imposed Rs 1 cess on petrol and diesel to build national highways and rural roads. “In the very first budget of 2014, Jaitley had a bonanza of over a Rs 1 lakh crore; I would have used that for defined process and for certain purpose”
Disinvestment money should have also been used..a general statement that the oil money is used in various projects won’t make a cut, he added.
Sinha also slammed the government for creating the GST confusion. The multiple rates under the new tax regime is creating confusion, he said.
“There was complete lack of logic in the GST rates.”
Quotig Arun Shourie on demonetisation, he said creating a harakiri is not a bold decision.
When quizzed that if Modi government’s reforms are not being taken seriously, he said: “I have no quarrel with Jan Dhan or digitisation but these should come gradually. “We are not planting a tree. People need a solution now. We cannot completely ignore the short term solutions.”
On Jaitley’s yesterday remark, Sinha said that it was a very cheap remark.
Sinha sarcasticly said that he was not a member of Margdarshak mandal of BJP and that the members of the mandal never met.
The senior BJP leader said that he was forced to write the article in Indian Express as the government was not paying attention to his views. “I asked for time from prime minister on J&K issue some 10 months ago, I am yet to get an audience. That is why I sought help of media to air my views,” he said.
On his son Jayant Sinha, he said that some elements in the government are trying to divert attention by creating a father-son scenario.