New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for enhancing India's stature globally with his successful three-nation visit even as he accused the Congress of damaging the economy both while in government and as an opposition party.
He also said he was "deeply disappointed" with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's reaction to the interrogation and arrest of some of her party leaders in the Saradha chit fund scam.
In his latest Facebook post, Jaitley said that following Modi's visit to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji, India's status among the nations of the world appears to have been enhanced.
"Both India and our Prime Minister were at the centre stage in the G-20 meet at Brisbane. What better recognition should there be of India's enhanced stature than (US) President (Barack) Obama agreeing to be the chief guest of India at our Republic Day parade," he said.
Jaitley, meanwhile, hit out at Congress over its "paucity of issues" as he questioned why a public sector bank giving credit to a particular business house had become a matter for public debate.
His reference was apparently to SBI's MoU with Adani Group for providing a loan of USD 1 billion (over Rs 6,000 crore) to Adani Mining, the Australian subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, for its mining project in Queensland.
"Since when has the issue of a creditor's willingness to give debt to a borrower become an issue of public debate. It entirely depends upon the debtor-creditor relationship and the credit worthiness of the debtor... This showed a paucity of issues with the Congress Party," he said.
Keeping up his attack on Congress, the Finance Minister said that without reading the relevant notifications, the party had felt that Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) would be a boon for black money.
"The notification of the KVP clearly shows (that) identity disclosure at the time of purchase of all KVPs is necessary. If the KVP is purchased for more than Rs 50,000, PAN number has also to be given... It appears that the Congress Party had given reaction without reading the notification," he said.
Charging that Congress was planning strategies to "block" official business and legislation in Parliament, Jaitley said, "The Congress Party had damaged the national economy while in power and wants to pursue the same destructive direction while in opposition."
In the context of the interrogation and arrest of some TMC
leaders in the Saradha scam, Jaitley said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's reaction over the same had left him "deeply disappointed".
"Various political forces joined the TMC to get the Left out. Some individuals connected with the TMC have been involved in making easy money from the ponzi schemes. The schemes have looted small investors.
"As a new political party, it was incumbent on any responsible leader to purge the party of such leaders. It is regrettable that Mamata didi instead of doing that has chosen to identify herself with the cause of these leaders," he said.
Taking up the Burdwan blast case, he said NIA had arrested several people who were behind it.
"...The West Bengal Police or the other intelligence agencies have no substantive material to establish that the blast was stage-managed. If there is no such material, why has Didi chosen to allege that the blast was stage managed?
"Such allegations clearly help the actual culprits. This is neither responsible nor nationalistic," said Jaitley.
Jaitley also touched upon the running of the government and came out in praise of the members of the NDA dispensation, saying that while the Prime Minister was touring abroad, his Cabinet colleagues were working "overtime to live up to the expectations of the Prime Minister and the people".
Talking about the Defence Acquisition Council yesterday clearing a proposal for acquiring artillery guns, Jaitley said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was taking the NDA government's agenda forward of expediting defence procurement.
He said Power Minister Piyush Goel, through various coal and power sector reforms, has given a new direction to the ministry where coal allocation and power generation had stagnated as a result of the despotic coal allocation policy under the previous UPA government.
The Finance Minister also made a mention of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's successful negotiation with the Americans to correct the imperfection in the Bali Text on trade facilitations.
"India's food security programme has been protected from the imperfection of the Bali Draft as a result of the Indo-US arrangement," Jaitley wrote.