Congress wearing 2G verdict as some badge of honour, says Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

"They're viewing this verdict as a badge of honour and a certification that the 2G spectrum allocation was an honest policy", Jaitley told mediapersons, the first reaction by the Centre on the judgment. "The Congress should not consider this as some kind of certificate of clean chit", Jaitley added.

"I am sure the investigative agencies will have a closer look at the judgement and acquittal of accused and decide what has to be done", he said. "Its history is of corruption".

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said depositors' money in public sector banks will be protected and there is no need to create any fear psychosis, as he hit out at the previous UPA government for non-performing loans.

Jaitley said the criminal case was launched on the SC order.

"The "first come, first serve" policy was altered to "first come, first pay" and the favoured few were informed about the change in policy in advance", he further alleged.

Stating that there was a huge "element of arbitration" within the policy implementation, Jaitley said that the cut-off date was advanced while the first-come, first-served basis policy was meant to serve only a few. "The government was directed to have a fresh policy by which an auction would take place", Jaitley said.

On the disinvestment of Air India, the finance minister said it was unfair to ask taxpayers to bear the burden of Rs 55,000-crore debt for running of the national carrier.

Rejecting former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's "zero loss" claim in the allocation, Jaitley said it was disproved by the subsequent allocation by the BJP-led NDA government, fetching Rs 1.10 lakh crore in 2015 and Rs 66,000 crore in 2016.

Jaitley also said the GST Council will take a decision on including petroleum goods in the goods and services tax (GST), as he dared Congress-ruled states to raise a demand for including petroleum products in the new indirect tax regime. People have been found guilty of corruption and sentenced. The policy was squashed by the SC as arbitrary and unfair indented to cause loss to Government of India, he added.



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