A day after his 'policy paralysis' jibe at Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the Congress leader did a "great job" as a Finance Minister but reforms process stopped after he became the Prime Minister. "To be fair to him (Singh), he did a great job as an FM in initiating reforms. That process stalled when he became the PM," Jaitley said. He was speaking at the CNN Asia Business Forum held on the sidelines of the 'Make In India Week' that began here yesterday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hit back at Singh for stating in an interview that the Modi government was not reaching out to the Opposition and not doing enough to move up the country's economy. In a Facebook post, Jaitley had said the transition from the UPA to NDA government has been from "policy-paralysis" to a global "bright-spot" while Congress' stand on the crucial GST Bill has been motivated by "real politics".
Jaitley had further said that unlike in the UPA regime when policies were framed from Congress headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, in the NDA government Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the last word. "Former Presidents and Prime Ministers rarely speak, but when they do, the nation should listen to them with rapt attention. They represent the wisdom of the nation.
"They are expected to be non-partisan, render constructive advice and at times send a powerful message even to their own political party to act in a broader national interest," he had said.
Singh had said that there was a crisis of confidence in the government and that Prime Minister Modi must give "every Indian" the confidence that he cares for people's well-being. Jaitley said the key objective of the government is to ensure that India exploits its full potential in economic growth. "Now that second generation reforms is in the process which started less than two years ago and that is the process which the government will continue.
"At the same time, the principle object would be to make sure that India realises its potential as far as economic growth is concerned, so as to enable it to bring down significantly the poverty levels," Jaitley said.