In Depth: Yashwant Sinha – “In the long run, we are all dead, what long run?”

In an interview to ANI, Yashwant Sinha spoke at length about the reasons why he decided to publicly criticise the Central government.

Responding to a question on decline in economic growth, Sinha said that one of main criticisms of the previous government was the manner in which they had demolished the economy. Due to dysfunctional yojanas, projects with private companies worth lakhs of crores came to a halt. Public sector banks which had lent to these companies had Non-Performing Assets amounting to 8 lakh crores caught up in this, he said.

“We came to a consensus that we will bring a halt to all of this. We knew exactly what was wrong and we said it out loudly. But even after being in power for this long, if we haven’t been able to address our strongest criticisms of the previous government, we can no longer say we are better than the previous government”, added Sinha.

Responding to what went wrong with the present government, Sinha said “When we took over, the economy was already in shambles. Unemployment had shot up. Then we introduced demonetization, which could have been executed in a manner which didn’t affect the common person so badly. Within a few months, we decided to introduce GST. I was an ardent supporter of GST when it was being discussed. In spite of opposition from the Gujarat government, I was the only one who pushed for it during discussions in the Parliamentary Standing Committee constituted for this. But after demonetization, to do it this instantly was a bad decision. Though I suggested this should be done on the first of October as this will space out both the economic moves, the government went ahead with their plan. The urgency with which we executed our reforms, without thinking it through has resulted in this failure. The IT Industry is suffering. Looking at all this, I decided to speak out. How else will the situation improve if we don’t criticize?”

Sinha repeatedly stressed on the manner in which the present government has dealt with the economic situation, which according to him was below expected standards. “Without fixing the problem of NPA’s, the economy will continue to suffer and we refuse to think of a solid workable solution”, he said.

Sinha was unfazed by the criticism he was receiving from all corners. He dismissed the most repeated one them all, that things will get better eventually. “This logic that things will fall into place as the days go by is nonsense. The saying ‘In the long run, we are all dead’ very much applies here”.

He said that his criticism isn’t coming from a place of ignorance. As the only finance minister who has presented six budgets, he added that he has made things works for the Indian economy before and he knows what he is saying. “To know where exactly the economy is failing and not helping the situation is a big failure of the present government. I hope things improve”, he said.