Far from facts, Yashwant Sinha’s efforts border personal grouse

First Published 30, Sep 2017, 2:16 PM IST
Far from facts Yashwant Sinhas efforts border personal grouse
Highlights

Only he can tell, if his intentions are more personal or political as it certainly is not deeply “nationalistic” as he claims it to be.

One would believe that Yashwant Sinha as a former finance minister would make his case by talking facts, not distorting it.

His “desperate attempt” is “dictated by his antipathy to the government”  wrote Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a column for The Indian Express (I too need to speak up).

Chandrasekhar, a technocrat turned politician, who is a leading voice in the NDA government in his response termed Yashwant Sinha’s recent article (I need to speak up now) a desperate attempt to build a narrative of a failing economy. This is wishful thinking because nothing is further from the truth, he wrote.

When facts take back seat

Sinha’s statement criticising the Modi-government turned many heads and got many tongues wagging. A statesman such as Sinha, who has served as this country’s finance minister has witnessed it all from close quarters. Hence, one wouldn't expect him to be so “selective” in his observations and most of all, criticisms.

But as a political opportunist, he is well within his right to overlook along with the likes of P Chidambaram that the "UPA had left behind a broken economy"  and a whole list of other “mess.”

"Over 12 quarters of successive GDP decline, 24 quarters of rising inflation, a record Current Account Deficit of $400 billion, fiscal profligacy, declining capital formation, flight of foreign investors and scam-inspired plummeting of investor confidence, a banking system wrecked by years of politically-directed lending, a tenth of the jobs created by NDA 1, an economic model that created jobless growth, corrupt crony capitalism of the worst kind (written by Raghuram Rajan himself), a cash and high-denomination note dominant economy that was, in turn, inflating asset prices and a dysfunctional administration..." Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a column for The Indian Express (I need to speak up now)

Instead of getting lost in Sinha's pessimism, Rajeev Chandrasekhar points to the fact that the "economy" is at a "better place."

What is, even more, heartening is the fact that there is "space for honest discussion on the economy, about further reforms and transformation to make sure every citizen benefits but not political fake-point scoring," he observed.

Spin a yawn...oops! yarn

BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's criticism of finance minister Arun Jaitley had many gloating, mainly, because it was more of a personal attack at Jaitley. Those siding with Sinha must also understand that he is also a politician who has no qualms about "spinning a yarn."

Sinha begins and ends his tirade by attacking Arun Jaitley. He hints that Jaitley's appointment was a case of favouritism. And then goes on to end the piece by saying: "The prime minister claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters. His finance minister is working over-time to make sure that all Indians also see it from equally close quarters."

Beware of the scaremonger!

And this is how you start scaremongering. You tell people that the economy is in tatters while ignoring all facts such as the foreign direct investments are at $160 billion and foreign exchange reserves are at $400 billion.

When PM Modi took over as prime minister, the retail inflation stood at 8.33% and in April 2017, it was just 2.99%. The FDI inflow has jumped 72% within last three years.

A World Bank data claims that private investments in India is expected to grow by 8.8% in 2018-19 and will overtake private consumption growth of 7.4%. All of this factors are bound to push the GDP towards a positive growth. 

Has exports really dwindled? In a sharp contradiction to Yashwanth Sindh’s claim, India’s exports grew to $23.81 billion in August this year, from $22.5 billion in July and $21.59 billion during the corresponding month of last year.

A feeble attempt to discredit the government

In such an environment telling that economy is on a downward spin, is nothing but a feeble attempt to discredit the government. Sinha seems all out to spread misinformation. Only he can tell, if his intentions are more personal or political as it certainly is not deeply “nationalistic” as he claims it to be.

In an article, Sriram Ramakrishnan, Resident Editor, Economic Times calls Sinha a "spin politician" who "can spin, quote facts selectively, attack without data and also play the sore loser!"

While Congress and other opposition parties have enough ammunition to attack the Centre, it was none other than MoS Civil Aviation and son of Yashwant Sinha, Jayant who came forward in Arun Jaitley's defence.

Junior Sinha debunked his father's claims and said: "These articles draw sweeping conclusions from a narrow set of facts, and quite simply miss the fundamental structural reforms that are transforming the economy. Moreover, one or two-quarters of GDP growth and other macro data are quite inadequate to evaluate the long-term impact of the structural reforms underway."

Yes, it is true there is a slowdown but that is to be expected. Demonetisation and GST were mammoth tasks, but nonetheless, they have put the country on a growth trajectory.

The naysayers have always been loud in their claims, but what we need are true leaders with honest beliefs, interested in developing the nation, not settling personal scores at the cost of the nation - its pride and its integrity.

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