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    Don't have luxury of being former finance minister yet: Jaitley responds to critics

    By Deepika

    Reacting to the criticism over the economy, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday backed NDA's economic policies and said the government is making incremental changes in the economy.

    Arun Jaitley

    Jaitley said the government has taken a number of steps to tackle corruption and put the economy back on track.

    Jaitley took a jibe at  at his predecessor and said he does not have the luxury of being a former finance minister.

    Attacking previous UPA governments for policy paralysis and said "Changing the old normal of black money and shadow economy was never the agenda of those who are criticising government's economic policies."

    Our government took decisive steps and we changed the normal with demonetisation, the finance minister said while speaking at 'India@70 Modi@3.5' book release event in New Delhi.

    Stating that idelogical polaristaion will always exist in a democracy, Jaitley said "a new ideological polarisation is taking place in the country."

    "We gave opportunity to people to come clean about their accounts held abroad. Small areas which paralysed, at least UPA 2, because of discretions being used and misused we were completely able to distance ourselves from these discretions itself.

    "Demonetization was to make sure that the anonymous tender which operated in market gets identified to its owner," he added.

    He further said that "Those who had pushed the country into policy paralysis, when they saw it coming, asked to postpone it (GST). Had announced this year, how do we legitimize political funding in India so underground funding itself comes to an end; now in final stages."

    Jaitley earlier met representatives of traders and exporters for feedback on issues facing them under the Goods and Services Tax regime. The industry bodies and exporters raised their concerns related to the GST, including timely refund of duties, with Jaitley.

    Jaitley's meeting with industry representatives comes a day after the BJP's own leader and former inance ministerYashwant Sinha called the GST rollout "badly conceived and poorly implemented".

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