Saturday, December 11, 2021

Review of "India Unmade: How The Modi Government Broke The Economy" by Adithya Sinha and Yashwant Sinha

This book is like, it was written by a village level leader, and not like a former Finance Minister of India. 

When a village level leader writes a book, he/she would take the news items in the popular newspapers and compile them into a book and release it. 

When a reasonably good leader writes a book, he/she would atleast listen to the reasons of others once, before criticizing based on a news article. 

When a serious journalist or a big leader writes a book, he/she would get all the information from all the parties concerned, asks them relevant questions till they don't have any more information to share, and finally writes a book with his/her opinions and the facts told by all the parties. 

Before reading the book written by a former Senior Cabinet Minister, I expected that he would consider all the points of the Government before criticizing them. But, he criticized the Government like a village level leader without even listening to the basic explanation from the Government side on many points.

A small example of his criticism on NPAs.

When this government presented in Parliament the Economic Survey of 2014, it quantified bad loans, or NPAs, at Rs. 2.05 lakh crore. Then, in October 2018, Jaitley shifted the blame to the previous government, saying the NPAs when Modi took office were not Rs.2.05 lakh crore but Rs. 8.5 lakh crore. Did he then lie to Parliament in 2014? If yes, this demands a privilege motion against the finance minister. 

This paragraph is enough to tell that he is blindly accusing Modi either by hiding the actual facts or without understanding the basics. 

Till 2014, the banks were are not recognizing many loans as NPAs eventhough they are NPAs. They were restructuring the loans and making them ever green. Raghuram Rajan stopped that, and in 2015, he had done Asset Quality Review of the loans, and many loans were now recognized as NPAs eventhough it was not marked as NPA initially. This led to an increase in the actual NPAs. 

Arun Jaitley might have mentioned that, after the Asset Quality Review, they might have recognized that the actual NPAs were Rs. 8.5 lakh crore. 

If Yashwant Sinha had done some research on his own and comes up with some number, and say that, the actual NPAs were Rs. 4 lakh crore and not Rs. 8.5 lakh crore as mentioned by Arun Jaitley, it would have been little reasonable, irrespective of whether his claims are correct or not. 

Instead, talking about the privilege motion against the finance minister clearly tells that his only goal was, blaming Modi and his government by relying on out of context data points. 

For many of his criticisms, I heard some reasoning from the government. What I expected from this book is, his counter points on the reasons by the government. But, I did not find any. All his criticisms are very lame.

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