Manmohan Singh left a legacy of “do-nothing-approach”: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in an interview with said that Manmohan Singh left a legacy of "do-nothing-approach", policy paralysis and crony capitalism.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday lashed out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had called demonetisation “monumental mismanagement”, an “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”.

Jaitley in an interview with Times Now said that Manmohan Singh left a legacy of “do-nothing-approach”, policy paralysis and crony capitalism.

Quoting economist John Maynard Keynes Manmohan Singh had said, “Even those who say that this measure will do harm or cause distress in the short term but will be in the interest of the country in the long run should be reminded of what John Keynes said once, ‘In the long run all of us are dead.”

Responding to Manmohan Singh’s criticism he raised questions about Manmohan Singh’s achievements in office. Jaitley said, “Dr Singh said that in the long run we all are dead. Of course, we in the long run will be dead. But the issue is that when we get an opportunity to be in government, should we think only about our own generation. The country will live on long after we all are dead. Therefore, the question is what kind of legacy to leave behind. From 2004 to 2014, they didn’t want to take any decision and therefore they left behind an unenviable legacy.”  

Jaitley said that the current Prime Minister does not want to leave behind a legacy of “do-nothing-approach” or of policy paralysis. “In the long run, he is going to leave behind a better India, rather than a status quo where ‘so much in cash and so much in cheque’ is the norm,” said Jaitley.

The Finance Minister said dismissed the opposition’s claims that the government’s stress on cashless transactions will put some industries at a disadvantage and will make it difficult to pay their workers. Jaitley argued that switching over to cheques and digital mode of payment, will prevent the workers from being “short changed” .