New Delhi: Describing the 5-year rule of UPA-2 as a "dark period", former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said "lack of honesty and integrity" has prevented government from taking decisions leading to delay in implementation of big ticket projects worth over Rs 17 lakh crore.
"The pending projects have been accumulating because the government is paralysed, it has not taken decisions in the last five years, it was absolutely a dark period in which no decision was taken," Sinha said.
"The decisions have not been taken because people are afraid of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), CVC and now Lokpal. Now there is no integrity and honesty in this government. So Everybody is running scared," he added.
As on December 11, 400 projects worth Rs 17.68 lakh crore in power, steel, coal, mining and petroleum sectors were pending before the Cabinet Committee of Investment (CCI) for clearance, Sinha said, quoting a senior finance ministry official.
The government set up the CCI in January with a view to fast-track project clearances. The CCI has had 11 meeting since its inception.
Noting that modern economy runs on sentiments, the former finance minister said "the moment you will feel that the government is strong and decisive, half of your problem will be solved".
Last week, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also spoke about the "frustration" of the industry with regard to environmental clearances delaying projects unduly.
Gandhi said that while environmental and social damage must be avoided, decisions must be transparent, timely and fair.
Buoyed by BJP`s good showing at the recently-concluded assembly elections, Sinha exuded confidence that the party would get around 200 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and would be able to form government.
The general elections are due next year.