Govt focus on clean economy, bold decisions: FM

Bengaluru: The Modi government's emphasis is on bold decision making and a clean economy with business friendly environment, the returns of which can be spent on the poor, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

He also said the fundamental problem during the UPA rule was that its Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) was not a natural leader of the ruling party or the government that committed mistakes in its approach to policy as well as in intention.

"But now we have someone who is willing to take courageous decisions in the form of Narendra Modi," he added.

"Our overall emphasis has been on faster decision, bolder decisions, cleaner economy, freedom from black money, freedom from corruption and a friendly environment for doing business, so that the larger returns that come to the economy in terms of taxes can be spent on the poor of this country," Jaitley said, adding that it is the Prime Minister's approach which has been followed in the recently presented budget.

He was speaking at 'Budget 2017 - An Analysis', organised by Bengaluru City BJP and attended by Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Sadananda Gowda and State party President B S Yeddyurappa, among others.

Stating that changes were visible in the last two-and- half years after the Modi government came to power, compared to the last 10 years, Jaitley said the first change is that the Prime Minister must also be the natural leader of the country or be the natural leader of the ruling party of the government.

The UPA Prime Minister, he further said, did not have the last word as far as the government was concerned.

This model can be prevalent in a company where a hired CEO is brought in by shareholders to run it and he reports to the board, but not applicable to the world's largest democracy. "Democracies don't work like this. Countries need an inspirational leadership which leads from the front."

The UPA government committed two fundamental mistakes in its approach -- one in terms of policy and the second in terms of its intention, Jaitley said.

He said every politician wants the vestige of arbitrary and absolute power, but good governance does not permit that.

"They were quite satisfied with the system in which contracts and natural resources were to be arbitrarily distributed. Whether it was coal mine or spectrum, the arbitrary power of the government or the discretionary power of the government is what they relished," he said.

Stating that this discretionary power can create a lot of complications and that is why corruption charges came up, some of which were proved, people were jailed and led to a scare in taking decisions, he said that "there was a problem of intention." .

PTI