India has overcome Congress legacy, can no more use it as excuse, says NITI Aayog Vice Chairman

New Delhi: Confronted time and again with governance issues, the BJP has wriggled out by asserting that these problems were a legacy of the past. But, the feeling within the Niti Aayog is that the BJP cannot intermittently keep flogging the dead horse of ‘‘policy paralysis” during the UPA rule to escape the wrath of the public.

None other than Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said that the Centre can no more use this as an excuse and will have to take ownership of not only its accomplishments but also its failures from now on. He said while it was necessary to look at the last four years of the Narendra Modi government in the context of the legacy it inherited from the UPA regime in 2014, the economy has now overcome those issues and henceforth, the government should be judged on its own merit.

“Now the economy has come out of those inheritance issues. No more should they be used as an excuse for anything. Whatever happens now is the government’s own (doing) completely,” Kumar told IANS in an interview. Kumar’s remarks are an eye-opener at a time BJP and its senior leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Arun Jaitley, have repeatedly ripped into the Congress for leaving behind an “economy in a shambles” which the government was still bringing on track.

But, to put Kumar’s remarks in perspective, he also says that the BJP government has done so much despite the legacy issues. It took huge structural reforms like demonetisation, GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Benami Act, RERA and recapitalisation of banks to overcome those legacy issues. ‘‘I think we have finally overcome those and, henceforth, the government should be judged on its own merit,” he added.

Asked if there are any areas where the government could have performed better, Kumar responded: “One clear role which the government has recognised is farmer’s income. I think this focus has now been brought into the budget. The agriculture sector remains a backward sector and it requires a lot of reforms.” He added that performance in export sector was a cause of concern while the water sector, which was turning into a crisis situation, was another area which needed attention along with the quality of education. “These are chronic issues. They take time to be figured out. But the credit should be given to the government that they have recognised these problems and it is not trying to hide them or brush them under the carpet. Also they are trying new approaches to improve the performance,” Kumar said. (Culled from an minterview given to IANS).

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