New Delhi: Attacking his predecessor, senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on his criticism that the economy was is a slowdown mode, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "I must confess that I do not have the luxury as yet of being a former finance Minister nor do I have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist."
Addressing the release of a book 'India@70' in Delhi on Thursday, Jaitley further said that speaking on persons and then bypassing issues is something which is very easily done.
Highlighting the benefits of demonestisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said, "Demonetisation was to make sure that the anonymous tender which operated in market gets identified to its owner."
The finance minister said that the government gave opportunity to people to come clean about their accounts held abroad.
Lauding GST, Jaitley said, "GST collection in first two months reaching anticipated figures; revenue to probably move up in next few months."
The finance minister said there was no way in India you could do business without relying on alternate mechanisms of payment.
Jaitley said, "When India is at 70, there are always attempts to change the narrative itself."
Hitting out at Congress, Jaitley said, "Those who had pushed the country into policy paralysis, when they saw it coming, asked to postpone it."
Jaitley said, "Small areas which paralysed, at least UPA 2, because of discretions being used and misused, we were completely able to distance ourself from these discreions itself."
Jaitley said that Direct tax figures are 15.7 per cent over and above last year's figure.
He said,"Direct tax figures are 15.7 per cent over and above last year's figure, so this so called slow down visualised by some, has not even impacted."...