Chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu’s reported remarks on Thursday that the UPA government might not go for major reforms till the 2014 Lok Sabha elections sparked a slugfest between the government and the opposition on Friday.
Basu, who is accompanying finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the US, had been reported as saying at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace — a think tank in Washington — that coalition politics affected India’s reforms agenda.
But he clarified later that his remarks were “reported poorly juxtaposing comments on Europe 2014 with the Indian election of 2014.”
Information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni also said, “I do not think Basu at all talked about any policy paralysis. He may only have had in the back of his mind what happened in the last two Parliament sessions.”The UPA government that will complete three years in its second term in exactly a month is facing criticism of a policy paralysis, series of corruption charges and macroeconomic concerns.
"The fact of the matter is that this government has been suffering from paralysis in decision-making," Yashwant Sinha, a former finance minister and BJP leader, said.
Industry, meanwhile, raised the pitch for early passage of the key bills ahead of the Parliament session reconvening on Monday. "Our perception is worse than reality. We need to improve both," said Adi Godrej, CII president.