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Jul 12, 2012, 08.23 AM IST
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has accused Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram of being negligent and allowing the economic situation to deteriorate.
The senior BJP leader was speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate. He further said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also complicit in the lack of action on economic slowdown.
Below is the excerpt from the interview:
Karan Thapar: How much of the responsibility for this situation lies squarely with Pranab Mukherjee, the former finance minister?
Yashwant Sinha: I would blame him for not taking the steps which were necessary when he was the finance minister to bring the economy back on the growth path, but I would also like to add that the economy was left in shambles by his predecessor P Chidambaram, because when do you thatch your roof, when the sun is shining, and we didn’t do that. Whatever excuses they are giving, they were all present, they were all aware of it and despite that they did not take the correct decisions.
Karan Thapar: Just for a layman, I am repeating it again, these two finance ministers knew what had to be done, they knew if they didn’t act, the situation would get considerably worse, yet they knowingly and deliberately failed to act?
Yashwant Sinha: Absolutely.
Karan Thapar: Do you get the feeling the PM is desperately trying to distance himself from Pranab Mukherjee?
Yashwant Sinha: He is trying to distance himself not only from Pranab Mukherjee, but also from decisions to which he was fully partner in at that time. He is not only a great economist, he is also the Prime Minister of India. No important decision, whether in the time of Chidambaram or Pranab, could have been taken by the finance minister alone. So if today the PM is saying there are issues on the taxation side, didn’t he know that retro taxes and GAAR will create this kind of atmosphere? And if he did, then why did he allow that to happen?
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