Wanted to bring White Paper on economy before 2014 budget: Modi

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he wanted to bring a White Paper on the economic situation in the country before his government presented its first budget in 2014 but opted against it in the national interest, even at the risk of political damage.

“Today, I think, before presenting the first budget, I should have placed a White Paper in Parliament on the economic situation in the country. This thought had come to me,” Modi said an interview to CNN News18.

The Prime Minister said that he had two paths but he opted to stay silent in the national interest.

“Politics told me that I should put out all the details. But the nation’s interest told me that this information would increase the hopelessness, the markets would be badly hit, it would be big blow to the economy and the world’s view of India would get worse. It would have been very difficult to get the economy out of that … I chose to stay silent at the risk of political damage in the national interest,” he said.

Modi said his government was criticised later and was made to look like it was his fault.

“At that time the situation in public sector banks was coming out and how budget numbers were moved around… I didn’t put these details out in public. It hurt us, we were criticised, it was made to look like it was my fault. But I took the political damage in the country’s interest and the result of that I am being able to fix things, despite shortcomings,” he said.

He said the impact of all these issues from the past impacted private investment like non-performing assets of banks which he was trying to fix now.

“I held a session with bankers and told them there will be no call from the government to you. These things would have tightened the screws. Despite that, the pace at which roads are being made, railways is expanding, six fold increase in electronic goods manufacturing, these things show we haven’t taken short cuts. And my motto is, as it says on railway platforms, ‘short cut will cut you short’.

“We don’t want to take any short cuts and the results are showing. Anyway the situation has improved, we don’t have to worry about these things but let me tell you about the days in the beginning, in May 2014, I chose the tough path. And when unbiased people analyse the situation, I am confident they will be surprised,” Modi said.

–IANS

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