When the Union budget was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley back in February, the government in general, and the Finance Ministry in particular, received a lot of flak on social media for its economic policies from its core support base, especially those who hold right-of-the-centre views on economics.
One such critical tweet reached Minister Of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, and he assured then that he would invite those who have any doubts over the direction of the economy for a meeting and answer all their questions.
In line with his commitment, an event was organised at North Block in the Ministry Of Finance and was attended by influential twitterattis. The event was coordinated by Swarajya.
Twitter users also put their questions to the Minister online using the hashtag #AskJayant.
Before taking questions, the Minister talked about various constraints that the NDA government inherited: a weak economy with some serious legacy issues such as bank NPAs, weak institutions that led to bungling in the allocation of coal and spectrum; two back to back deficient monsoons which led to great agrarian distress; and some serious fiscal constraints given the One Rank One Pension and Seventh pay commission payouts.
With these constraints, the Minister said, it was very important for the government to prioritise, gate, and sequence, and he believes that the government has done a great job at that.
He said that what the current NDA government is carrying out are third generational reforms (first being done in 1991 and second during 1999-2001) and once these are executed, the depth and scope of the structural reforms will be unprecedented in India’s history. Thereafter, he took questions from the visiting delegation.
You can watch the full interaction below.