Government will not allow development agenda to be derailed: Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during an interview to The Hindu at World Bank, Washington.  

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday that the campaign on the “alleged” church attacks, which brought a bad name to India globally, was based mostly on erroneous media reporting. He said people within the Sangh Parivar had been warned at the highest level of the Narendra Modi government and the BJP for making irresponsible statements.

“A few of the distractions [from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda for economy and governance] are on account of irresponsible statements of some individuals. They have been seriously cautioned at the highest level in the party and the government,” he told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.

At the same time, part of the campaign was also on account of misreporting and falsehood, Mr. Jaitley said. “India globally got a bad name for the alleged attack on churches. Now that the facts have been investigated in each case, in most of them it turned out to be pure law and order issues at the domestic level, without any political or religious overtone.”

Mr. Jaitley said it was for everyone, including Union Ministers, to realise that India now had a chance to leapfrog economically and incidents of saffron bullying distracted from that agenda of the Prime Minister.

On the economy, he said indicators showed India was in recovery mode but not everything had become perfect. “At times, patchy signals do emerge … Some signals like exports are also because of the weak global demand and they are attributable to global factors, but overall nobody can deny that in the midst of the global slowdown situation, India is one of the bright spots.”

Mr. Jaitley said that besides focussing on infrastructure spending, he intended to introduce corporatisation of ports. Once resources were available, he would like to focus on investing in irrigation.

On the opposition to the dilution of the consent clause through amendments proposed to the land acquisition law, he said: “How would you get consent if the industrial corridor — let us say between Bangalore and Hyderabad — is to be created…? Will you go in for consent of one lakh people? Therefore, you have to balance the private interest with the larger interest of society. India has to take a decision whether it wants to keep its poor in poverty or it wants to urbanise, industrialise, wants to create urban-like facilities in rural areas…”

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:59:37 PM |

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