Arun Jaitley slams Yashwant Sinha, says 'Don't have the luxury of being former finance minister'

ANI | Updated: Sep 28, 2017 21:21 IST

New Delhi [India] September 28, (ANI): A day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Yashwant Sinha castigated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of making a mess of Indian economy; the latter on Thursday defended the government policies and said he does not have the luxury of being a former finance minister.

Taking a dig at the former finance minister, Jaitley at the release of a book 'India@70' said, "I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former finance Minister nor do I have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist. Therefore, I can conveniently forget a policy paralysis, four billion reserve left in 1991 and I can switch over and change a narrative. Speaking on persons and then bypassing the issues is something which is very easily done".

Backing the demonetisation move Jaitley said that the government intended to expose the black money market and track down those operating in it.

"Demonetisation was not synonymous with confiscation of money. We gave an opportunity to people to come clean about their accounts held abroad. The prime minister had a very strong agenda on creating a new normal as far as the shadow economy in India was concerned," he said.

Jaitley further said that he is being criticised for bringing out reforms too quickly.

"I am being criticised for doing incremental changes. Post GST, the biggest criticism was that why I implemented it so quickly after demonetisation," he said.

Jaitley also took the occasion to downplay remarks that the economy is on a downward spiral and said, "Direct tax figures are 15.7% over and above last year's figure, so this so-called slowdown visualized by some, hasn't even impacted."(ANI)