Sinha also criticised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for "failing the people" of the country. "The present government received some problems from the previous government which badly needed to be addressed. Those were the non performing assets (NPA) of the banking sector and the stalled projects of over Rs 2-25 lakh crore in the country".
Sinha, who is on a three-day visit to poll bound Gujarat on an invitation by the outfit Lokshahi Bachao Andolan, has been a member of the BJP s "margdarshak mandal" set up in 2014 to guide the party. The NPAs of around Rs 8 lakh crore still remain to be addressed. Pointing out towards how the Indian economy is slipping, first because of demonetization and then GST, referring to his earlier statement that India's actual growth rate is 3.7% and not 5.7% as claimed by the Government of India, he admitted, "This calculation does not take into account the collapse of the unorganized sector due to demonetization". In context of demonetisation and GST, the maximum impact has been on the unorganised sector. "Due to that despite being a good initiative it has been given a bad name". "We need to remember that promise, improve the economy and make good on the promise before 2019", said Sinha. Suggesting that he, as Union finance minister under AB Vajpayee's government, was responsible for coming up with the idea of GST, Sinha said, a committee headed by Vijay Kelkar had suggested it in 2003.
"The Cabinet and the Finance Ministry should periodically consult this committee and within a couple of months the economy can drastically improve before the time the government presents its next budget". "The problem is that whenever the world praises us we accept it but the moment we are criticized we disown it".
Hitting out at Arun Jaitley - yet again - veteran BJP leader and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said that the country can ask for the Finance Minister's resignation over the "failures" in the implementation of the demonetisation policy and Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime. "But now that the opposition is asking for it, he suddenly finds it childish". In a recent announcement, GST for restaurants was also reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent and so consumers eating out will now pay slightly less than before.
Criticising high petro-product prices, Sinha, too, favoured its inclusion in GST.