On Board Air India One: With erstwhile UPA ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee threatening to bring a no-confidence motion against the government over FDI, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma Sunday said the “shrill discourse and sensationalism” against the government’s policies had caused enormous damage to the country’s image.

Speaking to newspersons accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the 10th Asean-India Summit Nov 18-20 and the 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Sharma said: “It’s high time that realisation dawns upon all concerned that the shrill discourse and sensationalism in recent years has caused an enormous damage to India’s image and investment climate and hurt India economically.”

He also hit out against criticism of the timing of announcing FDI in multi-brand retail in September this year.

“When you take a decision, the timing is questioned. When you are deliberating on a decision, you are called indecisive and the government is accused on policy paralysis,” he said.

The government has had to face flak over a slew of economic decisions, including allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, hike in diesel prices and a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders for each household.

The Trinamool Congress walked out of the UPA government and alliance over the issue in September.

“We have taken the decisions in a considered manner, and discussed with all stakeholders,” Sharma said.

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Free Press Journal