New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said corruption has been removed from India's political dictionary under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that there is a thrust towards reforms and liberalisation without crony capitalism and harassment.
Marking a year in office of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, he yesterday launched an all-round attack on UPA government and said, "Herein lies the difference between 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."
"The 'scam and scandal, corruption and retribution' Raj is behind us," he said in a Facebook post titled 'The Fall of UPA's Crony Capitalism - A Year of Reform'.
Recalling the situation that existed a year ago, Jaitley said the UPA government wanted to centralise power in its own hands rather than promote non-discretionary and rule-based governance.
"'For Sale' signs hung over all ministries. Spectrum was allocated at throw away prices to the favoured few. Investors lost their investment. Ministers, civil servants, investors were jailed and prosecuted," he said.
"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 added.
The Finance Minister said discretionary and arbitrary allotment "motivated by collateral considerations" led to prosecutions of many and a virtual paralysis of the coal mines sector.
"It had an adverse impact on user industries such as the power sector. 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," he said.
Raising the question where do we stand one year later, Jaitley answered himself saying, "The whole parade of industrialists lining up outside South Block and North Block is now over. The corridors are empty, the silence cheery.