A day after his father and former Finance minister in the NDA government Jayant Sinha took shots at the government over its poor handling of the economy, his son, the current Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, has jumped to the defence of the central government, saying recent articles critical of the government have drawn sweeping conclusions from a narrow set of facts.
In an article penned for the Times Of India, Sinha said recent articles critical of the government miss “the fundamental structural reforms that are transforming the economy and that 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”.
Sinha’s rebuttal comes a day after his father Yashwant Sinha, in a hard-hitting article penned for The Indian Express, that sector after sector of the economy was in distress and the November 8 demonetisation had proved to be an "unmitigated economic disaster".
Rejecting his father’s criticism without naming him, Sinha said the structural reforms are not just desirable, they are “necessary to create a ‘New India’ and provide good jobs for our billion-strong workforce”.
“The new economy that is being created will be much more transparent, globally cost-competitive, and innovation driven,” he wrote, and listed the several initiatives and achievements of the government.
He also defended the demonetisation decision, saying transactions that were taking place outside of the tax net and in the informal sector are now being brought into the formal sector. This he said, would lead to higher tax collections and reduction of friction in the economy, and easier access of credit for citizens due to digitization of records.
He further says that structural reforms unleashed by the Modi government since 2014 constitute the third generation of reforms since the first generation of reforms initiated in 1991 and the second generation in the 1999-2004 NDA government.
“Unlike the first and second generation of reforms, this third generation of reforms balances a better life for all Indians with the requirements of an advanced, sophisticated 21st century economy,” he wrote.
Jayant Sinha’s defence of the government and its handling of the economy, however, failed to cut much ice with the opposition, with former Finance minister P Chidambaram dubbing the minister’s column as a PIB press release.
"He should know that administrative changes are not structural reforms," he said, in a series of tweets, pointing out to absence of increase in private investment, negative credit growth to industry and low demand for electricity.
Jayant Sinha's article in ToI reads like a PIB press release. He should know that administrative changes are not structural reforms.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 28, 2017
If Jayant Sinha is right, why is the outcome a steady decline in GDP growth over 5 quarters?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 28, 2017