ANI Photo | ‘Andolan-Jeevi’, ‘Bhrashtachar-Jeevi’ govt gave birth to ‘Jayanthi’ tax: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her reply to the debate on ‘White Paper’ in the Lok Sabha, targeted the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, stating that the ‘Andolan-Jeevi’ and ‘Bhrashtachar-Jeevi’ governments gave birth to the Jayanthi tax.
‘Jayanthi Tax’ is a term coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refer to the former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who allegedly charged money in order to push forward crucial environmental projects.
Earlier during the Lok Sabha election rally in 2014, PM Modi had said, “Jayanthi tax was needed to move files in the environment ministry during her tenure.”
However, the minister had later resigned from the post following the allegations against her.
“Let us talk about ‘Jayanthi tax’. Big-ticket projects like Vedanta were completely affected. The image of the nation went for a toss,” Sitharaman said in the lower house.
“The Andolan Jeevi and corrupt government gave birth to Jayanti Tax,” she added.
The Finance Minister further said, “The average delay in the grant of environmental clearance increased to 316 days between 2011 and 2014. Abhishek Manu Sighvi once said in a press conference, ‘The term ‘Jayanthi tax’ was well-known and understood in business circles'”.
Hitting out at the previous Congress government, she added, “The cost of doing business rose. There was no project implementation. There were hindrances to industrial growth. There were no job opportunities. The youth had to suffer.
Highlighting the achievements of the present National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, FM Sitharaman said that the government brought Panchamrit action, mission life, the Nationa Green Hydrogen mission, and Namami Gange, which successfully dealt with th pollution in the river Ganga.
“We brought Rooftop solar scheme, Ujala Scheme and PM Cushion Scheme. Forests cover incrased to 15,000 sq km. India stands fourth in renewable power and fifth in solar power,” she added.
The FM further mentioned that Assam’s Guwahti Railway Station is the first solar-powered railway station in India.
“The target of increasing renewable capacity, set at COP21, was met nine years ahead of time,” she said.
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, which initiated a global agreement on climate change.
The White Paper, comparing 10 years of economic management of the Congress-led UPA government with that of the Modi government, was tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
The White Paper said that when the BJP-led government formed in 2014, “the economy was in a fragile state, public finances were in bad shape, there was economic mismanagement and financial indiscipline, and there was widespread corruption”.
“It was a crisis situation. The responsibility to mend the economy step by step and to put the governance systems in order was enormous. Our government refrained from bringing out a white paper on the poor state of affairs then. That would have given a negative narrative and shaken the confidence of all, including investors. The need of the hour was to give hope to the people, to attract investments, both domestic and global and to build support for the much-needed reforms. The government believed in ‘nation-first’ and not in scoring political points…”
“Now that we have stabilised the economy and set it on a recovery and growth path, it is necessary to place in the public domain the seemingly insurmountable challenges – left behind as a legacy by the UPA Government,” the White Paper said

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