Economy

Corruption is a thing of the past, says Jaitley

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

BL 9-5-2015 MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA: (left) Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley and Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra handing over police papers to one of the railway porter during the inauguration of the three schemes,The Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, in Mumbai on Saturday. Pic by SHASHI ASHIWAL   -  BUSINESS LINE

“The fall of UPA’s crony capitalism — a year of reform,” is how Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has described the first year of the Narendra Modi-led Government.

“There is a thrust towards reforms and liberalisation, but no crony capitalism, no harassment. The ‘scam and scandal, corruption and retribution’ Raj is behind us,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Jaitley declared that the parade of industrialists lining up outside South Block and North Block is now over. “The corridors are empty, the silence cheery.”

Alleging that the previous government wanted to centralise power in its own hands rather than promote non-discretionary and rule-based governance, Jaitley said that ‘For Sale’ signs hung over all ministries and there were many discrepancies in the coal and spectrum allocations.

“The Congress Party leaders had become rent seekers and name lenders. They were partners in a large number of companies which got coal blocks allocated. The discretionary and arbitrary allotment motivated by collateral considerations led to prosecutions of many and a virtual paralysis of the coal mines sector. It had an adverse impact on user industries such as the power sector,” he asserted.

The Finance Minister noted that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to face judicial action because of the “self-destruct policies of the UPA”.

States also had to suffer as they were getting little out of valuable natural resources. “Even gold imports were controlled by a few. This was crony capitalism at its very worst,” he said.

Letting the market decide

Things have changed, he said, pointing out that the spectrum auction has fetched over ₹1 lakh crore. And the auction of a few coal blocks has fetched over ₹2 lakh crore. “There is no role for ministers except in laying down policy. Prices are determined by a market mechanism and the successful bidder is determined by auction.”

“The word ‘corruption’ is being removed from India’s political dictionary. The environment of ‘prosecute the investors’ has been completely reversed,” he said, adding that FDI increased to $28.8 billion in 2014-15 from $20.8 billion in 2013-14.

Published on May 19, 2015
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