BHUBANESWAR: Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday charged the BJP Government of manipulating data to create a false impression of development in the country.
Delivering the keynote address at Odisha Nirman Conclave 2019 here, Sinha referred to the resignation of acting chairman and a member of National Statistical Commission on the issue of data authenticity. The data on unemployment crisis in the country was not accepted by the Government and the NITI Aayog prevented its release, leading to confusion, he said.
He lashed out at Modi Government stating, “NITI Aayog has been reduced to a subsidiary of PMO. It is being unauthorisedly used to manipulate statistics. All policies are framed as per the statistics. If data is wrong, how can the policies be right?”
Criticising the mechanism on funding to states, the former minister said, the number of Centrally-sponsored schemes should be reduced and the funds be directly provided to states which can decide on the spending as per their requirements.
“From over 600 schemes at one time, we had brought them down to around 140. Now at least 97 schemes are running under the name of Prime Minister. Buy why? The fiscal rights of states should not only be protected but enhanced. The Centre can not impose on states. It should be protested unanimously,” he said.
Sinha appreciated the KALIA scheme launched by Odisha Government for farmers.
“There is always a conflict of interest between farmers and consumers. The only solution is to implement the universal basic income scheme for farmers first. They must be looked after properly in a federal set up,” he suggested.
Referring to the theory of “double engine”, Sinha said it means if a party that forms the Government at the Centre does not come in State, it is a disadvantage. But, is such an impression good for a country which believes in cooperative federalism, he questioned.