Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday painted a rosy picture of Narendra Modi government’s first year in office, saying the “scam and scandal, corruption and retribution” Raj is behind us while thrust is towards reforms and liberalisation.
In a Facebook post, he launched an all-round attack on the UPA regime saying the previous government wanted to centralise power in its own hands rather than promote non-discretionary and rule-based governance and “for sale” signs hung over all ministries.
After one year of Modi’s rule, he said, “the word ‘corruption’ is being removed from India’s political dictionary. The environment of ‘prosecute the investors’ has been completely reversed. There is a thrust towards reforms and liberalisation but no crony capitalism, no harassment.
“Herein lies the difference between the UPA’s crony capitalism and institutional destruction and NDA’s liberalisation and anti-corruption, combined with an emphasis on both strengthening institution building and social security for the poor and vulnerable,” he added. Jaitley cited a series of instances to show the UPA government in poor light from spectrum allocation at “throw away prices to the favoured few” and investors losing their investment.
“Ministers, civil servants, investors were jailed and prosecuted. Coal blocks were allocated at virtually no price. Environmental clearances were up for sale. The Congress Party leaders had become rent seekers and name lenders. They were partners in a large number of companies which got coal blocks allocated,” he said.
“Even the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was not spared on account of the self-destruct policies of the UPA. The courts had to intervene and cancel the allocations. The mining sector provided for a statutory mechanism of allocation based on the obsolete principle of “first come first served”.
The state governments – some of the poorest in the country – were taken for a ride. They got very little out of valuable resources such as mines in their states,” he added.