Government’s Rs.2 lakh crore coal mine auction claim ‘misleading’: Shourie

New Delhi: Former union minister in the NDA government Arun Shourie has termed the Narendra Modi government’s economic policy as “directionless” and also described the prime minister’s claim of the government having bagged Rs.2 lakh crore through the coal mine auction as “misleading”.

In an interview to Headlines Today news channel, Shourie, who is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a veteran journalist, said the government has made only Rs.6,200 crore “receipt” from the auction of the 20 coal mines and not Rs.2 lakh crore.

“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.

Modi has claimed his government has made by Rs.2 lakh crore by re-auctioning just 20 mines of the 204 coal mines that were auctioned.

Asked by the host Karan Thapar if the government was “misleading” the people with the claim, Shourie agreed and added that the government was “managing headlines”.

“They are managing headlines, unfortunately there is too much focus on managing headlines in regard to the economy and it is going to rebound,” he said.

He criticised the economic policy and said there was “not enough reaching out to experts who know about the subject” and that there was “too much confrontation with people, like the Supreme Court, the Reserve Bank of India”, which was leading to uncertainty.

He also criticised the government’s tax handling, which he said has “intimidated” corporates and said not enough attention paid to reform.

“The big picture is missing and the big pieces are missing,” he said.

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