New Delhi: Applauding NDA government’s policies on its fourth anniversary, BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said India had transformed from being a part of the “fragile five” to the “bright spot” on the global economic scene under this regime and had established ‘scam-free governance’.
In a post titled ‘My Reflections on the NDA Government after Completion of Four Years in Power’, Jaitley said the preceding ten years of the UPA rule had unquestionably witnessed the most corrupt government since Independence.
“The preceding 10 years of the UPA rule had unquestionably witnessed the most corrupt government since Independence,” said Jaitley in a Facebook post even while recovering from a kidney transplant in AIIMS, where he was shifted out of the ICU on Friday.
The “unprecedented” CAD and “alarmingly high” fiscal deficit showed poor economic management by the UPA. The Current Account Deficit (CAD) saw an unprecedented 6.7% deficit in the year 2012-13, he said adding that the NDA has consistently maintained a CAD of under 2% on an annualised basis.
“The poor economic management was visible when under the UPA fiscal deficits remained alarmingly high. The government was spending more and earning less. We witnessed fiscal deficits of 5.8%, 4.8% and 4.4% in the UPA’s last three years. Having inherited the mess, the NDA, year after year, has brought it down to 3.5% and shall, this year, try and deliver a 3.3% fiscal deficit,” Jaitley said.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had created “transparent systems through legislative and institutional changes, which have given this country a scam-free governance.”
Jaitley said that to clean up the economy, India had to transform from a tax non-compliant society to a tax-compliant society. During Jaitley’s hospitalisation, Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, has been given additional charge of the finance ministry
The focus of the government will now be on consolidation of the initiatives taken in the past, Jaitley said.
The minister said the country’s mood from despair has transformed into hope and aspirations.
“Good governance and good economics have been blended with good politics. The result of this has been that the BJP is more confident, its geographical base has become much bigger, its social base has expanded and its winnability has hugely increased. The Congress is in desperation without the perks of office,” Jaitley said.
He said Modi has institutionalised a system where discretions have been eliminated.
Jaitley said India has to transform from a tax non-compliant society to a tax-compliant society.
“The enactment and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, the impact of demonetisation, effective tax compliance are all steps against black money, steps which are formalising the Indian economy. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has changed the lender-creditor relationship. The creditors no longer have to chase the debtors. If you cannot pay your creditors, you have to exit through a statutory mechanism,” he said.
The minister further said India had fallen off the global radar under the UPA regime. In its initial years, when the world economy was booming, India grew on the strength of global tailwinds.
The NDA government has increased infrastructure expenditure by 134% while that in the road sector programmes has witnessed a 189% increase between the last year of the UPA and the current year of the present government, the minister noted.
He said resources are transferred to the states with 42% devolution of taxes, Finance Commission grants and assistance through the CSS schemes.
“Notwithstanding the perpetual grumbling, last year of the UPA witnessed Rs 5,15,302 crore were transferred to the states. This year the proposed transfer is 145% higher and will be at Rs 12,62,935 crores. This is over and above what the States earn from the GST where they have been constitutionally protected with a 14% annual increase. The States independently levy their own taxes.
“Institutional changes thus being enacted and implemented are putting the Indian economy on a far stronger wicket,” Jaitley wrote.
Highlighting government’s focus in the social sector, Jaitley said the MUDRA Yojana has made cheaper credit available to the weak and the marginalised. The biggest beneficiaries of this had been women, SC/ST, minorities and other weaker sections.
The Crop Insurance Scheme and the government’s decision that farmers must get 50% above cost are steps intended to eliminate agricultural distress, Jaitley said.