Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, who drew flak for his 'loan waiver has become a fashion now' statement, on Thursday defended his stance, while saying that he was referring to the approach of the political parties who are not focussing on long term, but only short term problems.
"I am being misquoted. My statement was in a context that the political parties instead of addressing long term issues and bringing in structural policy changes are adopting short term methods which has become the fashion. I was referring to the approach of the political parties particularly of going to the level of populist schemes like giving grinders, mixies, and lollipops to children," Naidu told ANI.
Naidu further said that waiver has to be done in an extreme situation, but that cannot be a solution in the long term, adding that the government needs to focus more on infrastructure.
He further said that with his statement he wanted to imply that the Government should focus on basic infrastructure, including the problems of the farmers like godowns, cold storage, refrigerator vans agriculture rural credit, etc.
"What I had said was in the context of addressing the infrastructure including the problems of the farmers. I was talking about the lack of toilet areas, lack of roads, and lack of assured power supply that should be the focus," he added.
Highlighting the achievements of the NDA government, he said his dispensation has taken many initiatives including comprehensive crop insurance scheme, and allocation of Rs. 50,000 crore under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichayi Yojana.
"It is very surprising that the political parties, which were in power for years, could not do anything to address these issues and are blaming our Government and adopting populist schemes of asking for waiving loans," he added.
Naidu earlier in the day said loan waiver has become a fashion and that loans should be waived in extreme situations only.
"Loan waiver has become a fashion now. Loans should be waived, but in extreme situations only. It's not a final solution. You have to take care of the systems. The farmers should be taken care in distress," Naidu said at India's largest municipal bond programme here.
Slamming Naidu's statement Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala castigated the former and said that the Union Minister should have not made such a harsh statements at a time when the situation in Madhya Pradesh is so volatile.