Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

Falsehood of a 'Clown Prince': Jaitley tears into Rahul over Rafale, NPAs

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2018 19:01 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 20 (ANI): Citing examples of controversial Rafale deal and Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi stating that his strategy is to "concoct a lie and repeat it as many times" and tagged him as a "Clown Prince".
In his latest blog, titled "Falsehood of a 'Clown Prince'", Jaitley gave example of his August 29 blog on the Rafale deal, and said that he exposed the falsehood of the Congress party on the matter.
"The campaign of falsehood is entirely led by the Congress president. His strategy is simple - concoct a lie and repeat it as many times. This, at least, provides him some concocted material for his statements or speeches for otherwise an issueless Congress. To each of the Rafale questions raised by me, there has been no reply. In mature democracies, those who rely on falsehood are considered unfit for public life. Many have been banished from political activity because they were caught lying. But this rule obviously can't apply to a dynastic organisation like Congress Party," Jaitley wrote.
"If the 'Rafale concoctions' were the first big lie, the second one stated repeatedly is that Mr. Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) waived off Rs 2.5 lakh crore of 15 industrialists. Every word of that sentence repeatedly uttered by Rahul Gandhi is false," Jaitley added.
Jaitley said that these loans were lent by banks prior to 2014, when UPA was in power.
"The UPA government, in order to conceal these loans despite the default, kept rolling over the loans. These loans were ever-greened. Today, the UPA leaders stated that when they went out of government, the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) were only Rs.2.5 lakh crore. The truth is that actually NPAs were hidden under the carpet," the Finance Minister said.
"In 2015, an asset quality review (AQR) was conducted by the Reserve Bank of India and as a result of AQR and subsequent transparent recognition by banks it was found that the NPAs were actually Rs. 8.96 lakh crore and the real amount was being hidden. Thirdly, no effective steps were taken which could result in recovery/ reduction of the NPAs. Post 2014-15, NPAs increased not because more monies were lent but because interest was mounting up on the overdue amounts. Some of the defaulters were given a second restructuring so that the defaults could continue to be hidden," Jaitley added.
Further explaining the NPAs, Jaitley wrote: "An account is a 'performing account' as long as the debt is being serviced by principal/interest being paid. The moment a debtor is unable to service the debt, a default occurs and on expiry of 90 days an account is declared a Non-Performing Asset. During the UPA, most of these accounts were not declared as NPAs."
The Finance Minister further said that it was after the passage of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in 2016, that the things got under control.
"It has changed the debtor-creditor relationship in India. After the passage of the IBC, the creditors can move the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) which, upon admitting the petition, appoints resolution professionals and replaces the defaulting management. Thereafter, the creditors come out with a resolution plan where bids are invited for a potential takeover of the company, and a solvent claimant whose bid is the most attractive, is given management of the company. This results in discharge of a significant amount of debt which is paid to the banks and other creditors," he wrote.
Jaitley informed that the Reserve Bank of India, in the first installment, identified 12 major defaulters. He said, "These twelve defaulters, towards principal interest and penal interest, jointly owed about Rs 3 lakh crore to various banks. The banks under UPA took no steps to recover these loans... It is the NDA government which through IBC, changed the debtor-creditor relationship and enabled the banks to effectively pursue the recovery. The truth, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, is that your government allowed the banks to be looted. The loans were inadequately securitised. Your government was in complicity. The recoveries are being done by the banks only now."
Jaitley concluded his blog saying, "You lied on the Rafale deal, you lied on the NPAs. Your temperament to concoct facts raises a legitimate question - do people whose natural preference is falsehood deserve to be a part of the public discourse? Public discourse is a serious activity. It is not a laughter challenge. It cannot be reduced to a hug, a wink or repetition of falsehood. The world's largest democracy must seriously introspect whether public discourse should be allowed to be polluted by the falsehood of a 'Clown Prince'." (ANI)