New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of "fooling" people with his statement that no loans of big defaulters have been waived and claimed the government had written off Rs 1.88 lakh crore debt of those who had wilfully defaulted.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi alleged that the government "helped crony friends" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who are "strong", while the common people feel "helpless". "Modi Government has continuously and constantly benefited a select group of cronies by waiving their loans, even though the NPAs in the banks are piling up, thus putting the bank deposits and the state's exchequer at risk," he told reporters. Singhvi termed Jaitley's claim of "no waiving of loans of big defaulters" as untrue and asserted that the evidence in public domain is contrary to his claims.
He said in the past three years, the BJP government has already waived loans of wilful defaulters worth Rs 1,88,287 crore. Citing figures, he said, Rs 49,018 crore was waived in 2014-15, Rs 57,586 crore in 2015-16 and another Rs 81,683 crore in 2016-17, totalling Rs 1.88 lakh crore. "Then why is Shri Jaitley fooling the intelligence of Rs 125 crore Indians by saying that there is no loan waiver?," he asked.
Criticising the Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan announced by Jaitley, he said, it has neither a "roadmap" nor a "timeframe" and the Congress is waiting for the finance minister to spell that out.
"The banking saga has all the ingredients of a full- fledged Shakespearean tragedy. Out of the three protagonists, the government as the majority shareholder and the corporate borrower are wearing their victimhood as a badge of honour.
"Whereas, the real victim, the customer, is the unsung hero coerced into parting with his money. In this saga, the 'mazboot' (strong) are the crony friends of Shri Modi and the 'majboor' (helpless) are the common people of India," he said.