Jaitley snubs Congress on FDI

December 12th, 2011 - 10:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Taking on the Congress-led government on the issue of FDI, Arun Jaitley of the BJP Monday said the Congress was itself opposed to the idea of allowing foreign equity in retail when it was in opposition.

The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha also said there was “lack of harmony” between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Participating in a debate on the demand for grants in the Rajya Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said that even the Congress had opposed FDI when it was in opposition in 2001-02.

“The Congress party during the NDA government repeatedly raised this issue in parliament. Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi described the decision of FDI in retail as an ‘anti-national’ measure. Other top leaders, since then, have been highlighting the dangers of FDI in retail on this stage (parliament),” Jaitley said.

He said change may not always mean reforms.

“Every change does not necessarily means reform,” Jaitley said, adding there is “need to test reforms and find how they fit in our economy. Largest structure retail will not create additional jobs, but will displace jobs.”

“If you need a political consensus, the government has to be big-hearted. You cannot continue to act like the big brother,” Jaitley said.

Questioning the political structure of the UPA, Jaitley said: “The prime minister cannot be a CEO merely implementing decisions by the Board… he must be vested with authority and confidence.

“Unlike UPA-I, where the twin leadership was on the same page, in UPA-II they appear to be on different pages, even ideologically.”

Jaitley said the situation of inflation was “unacceptable”.

“The marginal reduction in rise of inflation does not mean that the prices are coming down. It only means that the rate of rise of prices is slower than what it was sometimes ago,” he said.

He also said the government has lost its credibility.

“An enthusiastic nation needs a government which has a determined leadership with credibility and prestige… (which is) with regard to the authority and credibility of the government,” he said.

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