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To Manmohan Singh's Jibe From Gujarat, Arun Jaitley's Stinging Takedown

10 November 2017

None of its objectives were achieved, Singh said during an interactive session on the current state of the economy with businesspersons and traders.

The bullet train, he said, launched with much fanfare, is an exercise in vanity.

He repeated his earlier allegations made in the parliament that demonetization was "organised loot and legalized plunder".

A day before demonetisation completes a year since it was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address on November 8 last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that note ban pushed for greater tax compliance and greater digitalisation.

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Singh added that "coercive steps like demonetisation" are ineffective at reaching the goal of a less-cash economy.

"All that Dr Singh has to do to is compare relative credibility of Indian economy in the pre-2014 era and post-2014", he said, pointing that the Indian economy was widely seen during the decade that he was the Prime Minister as one impacted by policy paralysis.

Singh's visit comes a day before Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to tour Surat on the anniversary of the government's announcement of the demonetisation exercise.

Rupani also demanded Singh to apologise for "singing Pakistan's tune at the Sharm El Sheikh summit" (of 2009 when BJP had accused India of compromising its position on Pakistan with reference to Balochistan), and also said, "Is it not true that the UPA government was actively considering handing over Sir Creek to Pakistan?".

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"The fear of tax terrorism has eroded the confidence of Indian business to invest", Singh said.

"Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 crore, a 23 percent increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetization, GST". In the first half of 2016-17, India's imports from China stood at Rs 1.

Singh said that when the World Bank stopped funds to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam, he as finance minister had stepped in to increase funding.

Former PM claimed that his government managed to lift 140 million people out of poverty.

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The Opposition, especially the Congress, has repeatedly blamed demonetisation and the government's handling of the Goods and Services Tax for economic slowdown and unemployment in the country.

To Manmohan Singh's Jibe From Gujarat, Arun Jaitley's Stinging Takedown