Congress seeks white paper on economy

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for “monumental mismanagement” of the economy and demanded a white paper on its condition.
“PM Modi is singularly responsible for inflicting grave damage on the economy by his reckless decisions including demonetisation and hasty imposition of a flawed GST. The disastrous implementation has hurt the industry, small entrepreneurs and traders,” party leader Anand Sharma said.
“India is in a real danger of slipping into economic depression. The government must release a white paper on the state of Indian economy, to restore the health of PSU banks through urgently needed recapitalisation and the measures it proposes to arrest the free fall.”
The former Union Minister said Modi and Jaitley were “in denial and are clueless on addressing the crisis of their own making”. “They are guilty of monumental mismanagement of the Indian economy.” He said the informal sector has been badly hit due to government’s decisions.
“Small businesses are shutting down resulting in more job losses. A cash flow issue has been created for the industry with shortage of capital for the exporters. Tax terrorism has been let loose as the input credit refunds are not made,” he said.
“Prime Minister remains unmoved, unapologetic and arrogant. He continues to evade responsibility which is essential in a parliamentary democracy,” Sharma added.
Meanwhile, targeting former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, BJP MP and President of the party’s Kisan Morcha Virendra Singh Mast on Thursday sought to know Sinha’s own achievements as the country’s Finance Minister.
“The concerns Yashwant Sinha has raised (on NDA government’s economic policies) are baseless. He should remember his own terms as the country’s Finance Minister. What were his achievements,” Mast said.
“As Finance Minister in the Chandra Shekhar government, he is known for pawning India’s gold. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, his performance was such that Dattopant Thengadi (RSS ideologue and founder of Swadeshi Jagran Manch) called him ‘anartha mantri’ (disaster minister),” Mast said.
Mast said Sinha’s “allegations” about farmers were unfounded.
“Farmers’ problems are not new. As a farmer and President of BJP’s Kisan Morcha, I can say that this is the first government which has done so much for farmers’ welfare,” he said.
In an editorial page article in The Indian Express on Wednesday, Sinha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “claims he has seen poverty from close quarters (and) his Finance Minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters”. — IANS