New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the day-long nationwide strike called by central trade unions only had a "marginal or inconsequential impact".
"You had a call of Bharat Bandh today. A few decades ago a call by trade unions would have paralysed the country. I am not so sure most of you are even aware there was a Bharat Bandh today. It had a marginal or an inconsequential impact," he said.
Jaitley made these comments while addressing captains of auto industry at a SIAM function here.
Ten central trade unions observed nation-wide strike today to protest against changes in labour laws and privatisation of state-owned companies.
The unions claimed that over 15 crore organised sector workers went on the strike which disrupted normal life.
In his address to the leaders of auto industry, Jaitley said the level of public discourse has to change if India is to achieve higher growth.
Referring to failure of Parliament to approve the GST Bill due to disruption by Opposition, he said "undercurrent of the public discourse is why it was being prevented. If it adds to rationality of taxation, if it adds to a higher growth potential for the country, it should be allowed to be done."
He further said that the auto industry is one of the success stories and role model for Indian industry.
For an economy of the size of India, there has to be more success stories like the IT, telecom so that other sectors could emulate, the Minister said.
According to reports, the Bharat Bandh disrupted normal life in some parts of the country, impacting banking operations and transport services besides affecting coal production.
It was also marked by violent clashes in West Bengal, resulting in arrest of over 1,000 persons.