'People have the right to ask FM to quit'

'People have the right to ask FM to quit'

Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday again hit out at the Centre.

Sinha attacked the government on demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST).

He also criticised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for "failing the people" of the country.

"The people of India can demand the finance minister's job for a slowed down economy and failure of demonetisation and GST," Sinha said.

"The present government received some problems from the previous government which badly needed to be addressed. Those were the non-performing assets (NPA) of the banking sector and the stalled projects over 25 lakh crore," he said.


Though the number of stalled projects had decreased somewhat in the last three-and-a-half years, projects worth Rs 17-18 lakh are still stalled, Sinha said.

"Old projects have not moved forward and no new projects have been taken up. The NPA of around Rs 8 lakh crore still remains. Due to this the growth rate has fallen," he said.

The former Union minister said the growth rate that stood at 4.7% during UPA rule was in fact at 3.5% now in reality and not 5.7% as claimed.

"The method of calculation of GDP is that it calculates the growth of the organised sector and imagines that unorganised sector has made similar growth. This is deeply flawed. In the context of demonetisation and GST, the maximum impact has been on the unorganised sector. The damage on the unorganised sector would badly reflect but I hope in the future there is some study that shows how these steps have impacted the growth," Sinha said.

He said one of the biggest flaws in GST was that 40% of the revenue stream, including petroleum products, alcohol and some aspects of the construction sector, is out of the purview of GST. "If we bring these under GST, people of India will get relief," Sinha said.

"When the new government took over in May, the petroleum products were at $110/barrel. These crashed to $30 by August. But we did not pass on the benefits to the consumers. We captured the benefit through taxation. When there was too much of pressure, only Rs 2 excise was brought down," he said.

Sinha is on a three-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat on an invitation of the Lokshahi Bachao Andolan.

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