NEW DELHI: Union minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five year tenure will be regarded by future political historians as a “turning point” where a movement to free India from corruption began.

In a blog titled ‘Is Prime Minister Modi’s First Five Year Tenure a Turning Point on Corruption?’, he wrote that the government and its ministers have conclusively proved that it is possible to run an “honest government” in India.

Attacking the Congress, the finance minister said that India’s credibility on issues of corruption touched rock bottom before 2014. “Banking system had been severely damaged by those who benefitted from ‘phone banking’. From the Bofors gun deal to the HDW Submarine purchases, the Airbus

transaction, the Augusta Westland deal, to the fertilizer scam, the footprints of the Indian National Congress and its leaders were everywhere,” he said.

Saying that the message is loud and clear to all, Jaitley wrote, “Frustrated with the honest work and clean image of PM Modi and his government, the Congress leaders tried fake allegations but were snubbed both by the Courts and the CAG. There is a message loud and clear to all, ‘only honesty prevails nothing else.'”

“Under Modi government, a ‘new normal’ has now been established in India. If you don’t pay back the banks, you will be out of management. If you escape out of the country, you will be extradited back. If you indulge in round-tripping, you will be found out and punished. Prior to May 2014, corridors of North Block and Udyog Bhawan used to be flooded with businessman and industrialists, but are today vacant. Because in Modi government files are not pushed but decided on merit and in national interest. Once at the helm these middlemen have been rendered jobless,” the finance minister said.

He further said, “For the first time, we have had a government for 5 years which has not increased any taxes. On the contrary, it has reduced many and yet significantly increased the tax base and the tax collections. This has enabled greater spending for defence, poverty alleviation and infrastructure.”

Saying that today “it is safer to be fair”, the Union minister added that this marks the difference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA government and its predecessor UPA governments.

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