‘Clown Prince’ is polluting public discourse with concocted falsehoods: Arun Jaitley

Continuing with use of social media for replying to allegations of opposition, union finance minister Arun Jaitley has posted another blog of Facebook today. On 29th August, Jaitley had posted a blog titled “15 Questions that Expose Congress Party’s Falsehood on Rafale”, where he answered opposition’s questions regarding the Rafale fighter deal and also had asked the Congress party 15 questions. Continuing after that, the finance minister has posted another blog titled “Falsehood of a ‘Clown Prince’”, launching a scathing attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Jaitley writes that the strategy of Rahul Gandhi is to concoct a lie and repeat it as many times, as the party has become issueless and this provides him with some concocted material for his statements and speeches. He says that generally political career of people caught lying does not last long, but this does not apply to a dynastic organisation like Congress party.

After the ‘Rafale concoctions’, the second lie from the Congress president is that PM Modi has waived off rupees two lakh fifty thousand of fifteen industrialists, writes Jaitley.

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The finance minister informs that all these amounts were lent to industrialists by banks before 2014 before Modi became PM. And, despite the industrialists defaulted on repaying the loans, those were kept rolling over by banks. The loans were ever-greened, means new loans were issued to cover repayment of earlier loans so that those loans do not show up as NPA in the books. The actual amount of NPA during UPA government rule was much more than what was reported, as a large amount of unpaid loan was concealed under the carpet.

Jaitley informs that actual amount of NPA was found to be ₹8.96 lakh crores after a review of the books by Reserve Bank of India. opposed to ₹2.5 lakh crore as reported earlier. He also writes that no real steps were taken to recover the money. The reason the amount of NPA has increased after 2014-15 is not that more monies have been lent, but because of increasing interest on the overdue amount from the UPA era.

He then informs about the steps the current government has adopted to resolve this problem. He says that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) that has been established by NDA government is the only effective method in this regard. This code has changed the debtor-creditor relationship in India. Now creditors can replace the management of the defaulting company and after that can invite bids for the takeover of the company. The creditors recover a significant portion of outstanding debts through such a takeover.

Jaitley informs that RBI had identified 12 major defaulters in its first instalment of review. These 12 debtors owe around ₹3 lakh crores in principal interest and penal interest to various banks. The UPA regime took effort for the recovery of this debt. He writes that the UPA government allowed the banks to be looted, and the NDA government has enabled the banks to recover their loans through IBC.

Adequate security was not provided for loans given, and UPA government was complicit in it, Jaitley alleges. And only now banks have started to make recoveries.

The finance minister says that Rahul Gandhi can’t change the reality by repeating the same lie again and again. Jaitley then raises a question regarding Rahul Gandhi – ‘do people whose natural preference is falsehood deserve to be a part of the public discourse’. He says that public discourse is a serious activity and it is not a laughter challenge. He ends the blog by saying ‘It cannot be reduced to a hug, a wink or repetition of falsehood. The world’s largest democracy must seriously introspect whether public discourse should be allowed to be polluted by the falsehood of a ‘Clown Prince’.

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