“Banks were pressured to give loans to only a select few industrialists… This was the biggest of UPA’s scams, bigger than coal and 2G. It was loot of people’s hard-earned money through industrialists,” the PM said, addressing the 90th annual general meeting of industry chamber Ficci.
The PM’s remarks alleging crony capitalism under UPA came a day before the final round of polling in Gujarat and marked a sharp riposte to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi‘s charge that the Modi Government was partial to select industrial houses.
“The voice around nonperforming assets that we hear is basically a liability that has been handed out to us by economists of the previous government. In a way, the people sitting in the previous government looted the hard-earned money of the public through the medium of such industrialists,” Modi, back from extensive political campaigning in Gujarat, said.
He defended the controversial GST tax regime, a wedge issue during the Gujarat polls, saying the reform was not aimed at unduly boosting tax collections at the cost of traders but rather bringing more businesses into the formal economy for the benefit of the common man.
Modi also took up cudgels for medium and small businesses, saying they were inconvenienced because of delayed payment of their dues by big industrial houses. On banks being allegedly pressured under Congress-led UPA to favour handpicked industrial houses, the PM faulted industry groups for their silence over the “loot”.
“People in the previous government knew that something was wrong, businessmen knew about it, the banks were aware of it and so were those who are related to the markets. I am not sure whether Ficci had carried out a survey at that time around the vagaries of the banking system. Did any survey point this out, or express concern about it, or warn people?” he asked, adding that organisations like Ficci should play a pro-active role in highlighting “such scams” whenever they get noticed.
Modi said his government had been taking steps and policy decisions to benefit the youth “in direct contrast” to the decisions undertaken by the previous Manmohan Singh-led Congress government.
He said his government had initiated a number of steps to ensure that there was inclusive growth, and concerns of the common people and small businesses were taken into account during formulation of policies.
Source : timesofindia