Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the AAP government in Delhi describing it as the “worst government since Independence” to rule Delhi and cautioned the people of poll- bound Punjab to be “wary” of the party. “That party’s (AAP) example of running the government is before us in Delhi. This example, showing what kind of government they are running, is before the country. Anybody who looks at the rule of Delhi, will come to know the quality of their governance,” the BJP leader told reporters.
He was asked to comment on the Arvind Kejriwal-led party which is eyeing to wrest power in Punjab after 2017 polls. “If you ask me what are my comments (about AAP), I regard it as worst government (in Delhi) since Independence. the quality of governance which the Union Territory of Delhi is seeing and this should be warning, caution enough for people of Punjab,” he added.
Asked as to what explains the “rising popularity” of AAP in Punjab despite its “poor performance” in Delhi, Jaitley said, “I think, that will be reflected in the (Punjab) elections. Let’s not underestimate the intelligence of people. If they (AAP) have been able to create an erroneous impression once, they can’t do it over and over again. “Where is the example of other political party that within months of governance, leader after leader gets caught in a tangle,” he said.
Asked to comment on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s comments yesterday wherein he had said he will be a better Finance Minister than Jaitley, the Minister refused to comment. “I have nothing to say on that,” Jaitley quipped with a smile. “I am an economist. He is a lawyer. How can he be better than me?” Swamy had said. Jaitley was in Jalandhar to attend a BJP meeting to take stock of the political situation in view of the 2017 Assembly poll in the state.
The meeting was also attended by BJP national general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and BJP national vice-president and party incharge for Punjab affairs Prabhat Jha and Punjab BJP chief and Union minister Vijay Sampla, among others. On dispute over Cash Credit Limit which is released for buying food grain, Jaitley said that it is a “historical problem” and that both state and Centre are making efforts to resolve the issue.
“There is a historical problem and it exists for decades, which requires certain amount of reconciliation and sorting out. Both Punjab government and Central government are in the process of finding a solution to that,” he said. The release of CCL had been delayed on more than one occasion in Punjab because of the “mismatch” between the actual value of foodgrain purchased by state-owned procurement agencies and CCL used for buying foodgrain.
To a query on 7th Pay Commission, Finance Minister said that panels had been formed by the government to resolve any sort of anomaly in this regard. “Governments in the past had taken years to implement it (pay commission report). With the submission of the report of the pay commission, within months, we have implemented it. “There was an apparent lacuna with regard to certain ranks in the armed forces which we have rectified now. We have set up a mechanism one with regard to allowances because different allowances have been cut down and second with regard to anomaly,” he said.
He said every pay commission reports create certain sort of anomalies in relation to particular services. “These are two separate panels which are working and therefore whoever has anything to say either about allowances or anomalies have to go before those anomaly panels and every time, it is customary after the pay commission that the anomalies get resolved by such bodies we have formed,” the Finance Minister said.