New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of befooling the public through its rhetoric even as it dubbed the ruling NDA as an “NPA regime” in view of rising non-performing assets of banks in the last two years.
“Mr Modi does not believe talking of figures, he believes in ‘Jumlabazi’ and ‘Bhashanbazi’. The figure is that there was a 56 per cent increase in NPAs (non-performing assets) in 12 months period from December, 2015 to December, 2016. The Rs 2,61,000 crore in NPAs, has during these years or 2-3 odd years, increased to just under Rs 7 lakh crore, a dramatic increase under this government. This is the reality of this government which does not hesitate in fooling the public,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
Talking about increasing NPAs in banks, he said the government has repeatedly proclaimed that it has declared a war on NPAs but the reality is that the NPAs of banks have risen from 2,61,843 crore to Rs 6,91,490 crores.
“Mr Modi’s ‘pravriti’ (mindset), his trademark, his signature style, is just fooling the public by words, running away from specificity and avoiding details,” he said.
The Congress leader also attacked the government for patting itself for reduced prices of stents used in coronary diseases and alleged that the same was done under threat of facing a contempt from the Supreme Court.
“Just like this government was practicing ‘Stunts’, and not ‘Stents’ till the contempt fear came, similarly this government should be called a government of NPA – because they kept on talking of NPAs and ended up abusing the UPA,” he said.
Singhvi said Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar has spent two days in congratulating the Prime Minister and the NDA government and BJP for bringing down the prices of ‘coronary stents’ dramatically by 300-400 per cent.
“Definitely it is good, it has happened. What we are saying about it is how misleading this claim is,” he said.
“It is about the tendency of this government to hide, to mislead, to distort, to try and score brownie points, to have a ‘Me’, ‘Mine’ and ‘My’ approach and self-congratulate and pat their backs,” he said.
He said it was the UPA that brought about the NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy and brought prices of essential drugs under the ECMA (Essential Commodities Maintenance Act).
Singhvi was seated with advocate Birender Sangwan, who he claimed had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court on the issue and who had also filed a contempt petition before the court, after which the court passed an order giving four months’ time to the government to do this.
“An order was passed by Hon’ble Delhi High Court on 16 October, 2016 i.e. one-and-a-half years later – where they said, we will haul you up for contempt. It is only on fear of contempt, not good-heartedness or ‘Bhavana’, that four months or five months later, in February, 2017, the government advocate told the court that ‘Yes, we are going to fix a price for ‘Stent’,” Singhvi said.
“It is only the fear, clear possibility of contempt of court by no less than the Delhi High Court that finally after delay of two years – February 2015 and February Feb 2017 now -this announcement was made.
“But immediately after that, the government goes to the press and starts thumping its chest, self-congratulating itself that ‘We have done it, I have done it – I, Me and Mine’. In reality this government is trying to mislead the public,” he said.