New Delhi, May 1: Arun Shourie, a BJP minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet, on Friday, May 1 hit out at the Narendra Modi government, saying its economic policy was "directionless" while the social climate was causing "great anxiety" among the minorities.
The 73-year-old journalist-turned politician said the one-year rule of Modi was "good in parts", his transformation as prime minister was good in foreign policy, but the promised turnaround in economy has not happened.
"The government seems to be more concerned with managing headlines than putting policies in place. The situation is like the many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle lying in a mess with no big picture in mind about how to put them together," he said.
He expressed his views in an exclusive interview with Headlines Today's Karan Thapar ahead of the first anniversary of the Modi government.
Shourie, who is not active in BJP these days, said despite promises the fears of foreign investors on retrospective taxes and incentives for manufacturing have not materialised on the ground.
"They (investors) require stability and predictability," he said, adding that the concern expressed by eminent banker Deepak Parekh on the situation on the ground should be seen as a "wake up call".
Asked if the Modi government had done enough to put India on growth path, Shourie said that it was "all hyperbole". "Such claims are meant to grab headlines but lack substance," he said.
He was also critical of handling of the tax issues which was keeping foreign investors away. "First it alienated them but now it has made them laugh. You come out as bullies."
Modi government's Pakistan policy lacks clarity
On India's relation with Pakistan, Shourie said that Modi's policy on Pakistan lacked clarity and he is under the illusion of an out-of-box solution to the vexed issue.
"Like all previous prime ministers, Modi was prone to the belief he could change the relationship. The PM must free himself of the illusion of out of box thinking," he said.
Rs.2 lakh crore coal mine auction claim 'misleading'
He also described the PM's claim of the government having bagged Rs.2 lakh crore through the coal mine auction as "misleading".
"The Rs.2 lakh crore would come when companies that have won the auction produce the coal at the rated capacity for 30 years -- but (the way it is claimed) it seems as I've got it just now," Shourie said.