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‘Nobody’ Visits Arun Jaitley at North Block Anymore, But the Finance Minister is Not Complaining

The BJP leader also quashed the idea of Mahagathbandhan and said it's a "suicidal" attempt. “This isn’t a time for anarchic combinations. Aspirational societies don’t commit suicide,” he said.

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Updated:October 6, 2018, 1:18 PM IST
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‘Nobody’ Visits Arun Jaitley at North Block Anymore, But the Finance Minister is Not Complaining
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.
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New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remarked on Saturday that nobody visits him in his North Block office anymore, adding that this was a positive indicator of businesses thriving under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime.

Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Jaitley said, “People not lining up for environmental clearances and licences. In fact, I feel left out now as nobody visits me in North Block. They need not come to North Block at all, it is an ideal system. You don’t have to go to Udyog Bhavan for clearances, things happen on their own. So, that’s a pro-business development.”

However, the finance minister also cautioned that there is no place for rogue business in India. "We had a system where we want our investigating agencies to be autonomous and independent. If any of the organisations turn rogue, then that autonomy is misused as non-accountability," he said while referring to loan defaulters in the corporate loan space.

He also hinted that India is on the verge of an industrial boom and that the country should not stand lacking as it did in 1960 during the global industrial surge. The senior BJP leader credited the Indian middle class for the oncoming economic superiority. "In the last 20 years if you look behind, China’s phenomenal growth dominated the global story. I think this expanding Indian middle class over the next 20 years and its purchasing power is going to globally impact not only the India story but will have its impact outside also," he said.

While taking a bird’s-eye view of the current state of the Indian economy Jaitley compared it to that of 2013 when UPA 2 was in power. "Nothing could be worse than 2013. The current account deficit was 4.7 percent. The average rate of inflation under UPA-II was 10.4 percent," he said.

Taking a jibe at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who also spoke on the same platform a day before and accused the BJP of deteriorating the economy, he said, "People need to grow up to understand these subjects."

The BJP leader also quashed the idea of Mahagathbandhan and said it's a "suicidal" attempt. “This isn’t a time for anarchic combinations. Aspirational societies don’t commit suicide,” he said.

"Talks of a larger alliance have taken place in the last few months. My views are Mahagathbandhans are tried, tested and failed ideas," he added.

When asked what will be the key standouts during the upcoming 2019 general elections, he said it will be a choice between a stable government with a coherent policy and a strong leader versus a “completely anarchic” combination.

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