Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has hit out at critics of the Narendra Modi government over bleak assessments of the state of the economy. In an interview to India Today, the minister indicated that the economy was on its way to recovery and said the government’s detractors were out criticising the government over economic slowdown because of “a lack of understanding or for a politically colourable motive”.
In recent days, the government has been pilloried not only by political opponents from the Congress – like, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi – but also by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders such as Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie.
The minister pointed to data for the month of September that, he said, showed inflation had remained flat and industrial output rose higher than expected. These and several other upward revisions were signs that the economy was recovering, Jaitley added.
Responding to assertions that demonetisation and the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax would hurt the party politically due to the distress caused to traders, the party’s core constituency, Jaitley said: “Any economy or leadership must have the broad shoulders to face the impact of these changes.”
He also answered questions about employment generation, privatising Air India, the telecom sector crisis, and other topics.