Business India

No point in hiding NPAs through jugglery of figures: Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah said on Saturday that there will be a robust banking sector in five to 10 years time following the steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to clean up the public sector bank’s balance-sheets in the face of NPAs.

Addressing an industry interactive session at Ficci here, he said that high amount of non-performing assets (NPAs) of the public sector banks were a reality and there was no point in hiding them through “jugglery of figures”.

He said it was the first time that all the NPAs were brought on record and while it would lead to some transitory problems, the government would find a permanent solution in consultation with all stakeholders including all states, industry and banks.

“It is a big step that we have taken to improve our banking system. We have taken this decision after considering all the risks involved… It is a big decision to improve the banking sector over the next five to ten years,” Shah said .

Blaming the Congress led UPA government for the high amount of NPAs, he said while the BJP is blamed, all the NPA accounts were opened in the UPA era.

Shah also attacked the previous Manmohan Singh government and said during the 10 years of the UPA rule, “the GDP growth rate came down from 8 per cent to 4.7 per cent, fiscal deficit rose above five per cent, inflation rose to double digits and the nation saw a series of scams”.

“They damaged the credibility of the government and lowered the international image of the country. There were multiple centres of power during their rule where only the Prime Minister had no power,” he said adding the India’s growth story was stopped in those ten years.

He added the Narendra Modi-led central government was trying to turn around the situation and had again “brought the GDP to 7.1 per cent, if you ignore the last quarter”.

He said much should not be read into the April-June GDP figures of 5.7 per cent and claimed that the economy was poised for a strong showing in the long-term.

The BJP chief also said the number of total direct tax payers had also doubled in the last three years from 3.7 crore to 6.4 crore.

He also defended the controversial demonetisation decision and said that it expanded the formal economy.

“While the process for fixing accountability for that money is going on, no one can deny that money which was stashed illegally will now be used for the country’s economic growth,” he said.

The BJP President said the government had managed to save around Rs 59,000 crore in subsidies after linking them with Jan Dhan accounts.

“That money was going to those who it wasn’t meant for. It may not be called a scam but there was rampant corruption involved which was not even caught by the CAG.”

About the GST, Shah said that earlier tax regime led to uneven development in the country with some regions growing at the cost of others”

“But GST will lead to uniform growth across the country over the next decade or so,” he said.

Shah said the BJP government focused on long-term gains rather than short-term benefits.

He also said: “We have not linked the policy decisions with the vote bank. Due to this our political loss may have happened.”

The Narendra Modi government does not believe in taking such decisions which “look good to people”, but believes in taking decisions which are “good for people”, he added.

Shah also said that political stability is necessary for economic and industrial development. “For the first time in 30 years a single majority party has come to power and people of India played a decisive role in this change.”

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