She was responding to a question about Singh’s comment that her government was “obsessed with trying to fix the blame on its opponents” instead of finding solutions.
“Recalling when and what went wrong during a certain period is absolutely necessary,” she told Indian journalists in Washington, where she was to attend the World Bank-IMF meetings.
It is more than apparent when “the wrong doings happened”, as this government tries to clear the clog from public sector banks (PSBs) and pursue all those who have taken money during the UPA and gone out of the country, Sitharaman stressed.
She accused the UPA government of giving loans on the basis of "phone calls" and supporting “crony capitalism.” “I wish the Congress Party had the courage of conviction to hear it [criticism] loud and clear,” she said, adding that her government doesn’t given loans to cronies or look the other way.
Sitharaman was responding to what has now become a battle of comments and counter-comments. It started with her saying that PSBs had their “worst phase” under Singh and Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Rajan’s comment that the government didn’t have a coherent narrative on the economy seems to have stung the minister. Sitharaman said those making the comments probably haven’t seen the government’s responses or know its targets.
When asked if India’s image as a foreign investment destination had taken a beating, the minister said that despite IMF reducing India’s growth projection to 6.1%, “India is still growing the fastest in the given global scenario.”
Sitharaman then brought in China, saying India’s growth rate was on par or tied with China. “The moment I say this, I am sure friends back home [will say], ‘Oh, you don’t the size of the Chinese economy.’"
She said she was “purposely setting the narrative in this manner” to drive home the point that India is tied with China in terms of the growth rate. “I wish it can be more. I wish it [India] can grow faster, and I’ll make every effort to make it grow faster.
When asked if there might be a stimulus package before Diwali, she smiled and said there was hardly any time left but she is waiting to return home to have the full picture.
On the question of whether the economic slowdown is “cyclical or structural,” the minister said, “It may be both. It may not be both. It may be partly one or partly the other. I don’t have the luxury of sitting and looking at which way it’s going. I have all the time to know what people want me to do and respond to them accordingly.”
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121 Comments on this Story
Kimneiniang Tungnung402 days ago
Always the blame game on prev govts which was more than 5 years ago. Had the economy been in boom credit would be to the bjp govt. Nirmala, we are tired of hearing your delusional yet arrogant words and your so called “wishes” “I wish it was easier “ blah.. stop wishing and start doing. Do not keep pointing fingers and that attitude of yours is not going to last very long. We are awaiting for 2022, that’s when all fingers will be pointing at you.
Gaana User403 days ago
One thing is for sure the so called gurus did not do their job honestly and ethically. Their laid back attitudes and compromises lead to all sort of scams in PSU banks, IL&FS and now PMC. RBI is also responsible. It is time some / all ex-RBI governor be called to submit / explain why all such transactions were carried out during their period and what are the remedies needed.
Snehsheel Gaekwad403 days ago
Do Not Try to Teach Guru.