New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Friday said the UPA government was a "practitioner of sadistic economy" and "crony capitalism" and called for a review of all the projects that were granted or not granted approval by the previous government.
Jaitley spoke after Jayanthi Natarajan wrote to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, saying that as the union environment minister she followed the party line with regard to protection of environment and also to "requests" from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's office.
Natarajan was asked to put in her papers Dec 20, 2013 by then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Jaitley told the media: "...When whims overtake legal requirements this becomes a textbook case of crony capitalism, and this is exactly what UPA government was practicing. The UPA was practitioner of sadistic economy. This sadistic economy which the UPA tried to build up was vindictive in nature, wanting to teach some people a lesson and wanting to favour some people."
He said what was so far "rumoured, has been established to be true", adding that the foremost responsibility of any government administering the country was to administer the economy of the country.
Jaitley said the growth rates had "radically gone down" during the UPA government because of delay in approvals being granted to projects.
"Projects worth lakhs and lakhs of crores were held up for want of permissions. Today's letter conclusively establishes that it was not these statutory and mandatory considerations which weighed with the ruling party in the government, but what weighed with them was the whims of political leaders of the party as to who is to be granted an environmental permission and who is not to be granted an environmental permission," he said.
The finance minister also said that "this obviously had to be for corrupt and collateral reasons, and this is precisely why India suffered in the last few years of the UPA government".
"I hope the environment ministry will now go into each of these permissions that was granted or not granted and make sure that these are expeditiously dealt with only as per law and no other consideration," he said.