Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about the bank loans in the state-run banks when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress Party was in power. She also held the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the former Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan responsible for the worst phase of the public sector banks (PSBs)
At Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "I have no reason to doubt that Rajan feels for every word of what he is saying. And I'm here today, giving him his due respect, but also placing the fact before you that Indian public sector banks did not have a worst phase than when the combination of Singh and Rajan, as Prime Minister and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had. At that time, none of us knew about it".
According to the RBI, the bad loans of PSBs have increased from 9,190 crores in 2011-2012 to 2.16 lakh crore in 2013-15. While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP came into power in May 2014.
Sitharaman is facing a lot of criticism for the slowdown of the economy which had allegedly shut down the manufacturing, real estate and finance sectors in the country. In September she has announced a corporate tax-cutter to boost the economy.
Both Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan became very vocal on the economic policies of the BJP government, including the most controversial Demonitaisation.
While answering a question from the audience on the comment made by Mr. Rajan, on Prime Minister Modi, "internal and cohesion and economic growth" and not "majoritarianism" will help strengthen India's national security. "In the long run, it seems to me that internal cohesion and economic growth rather than divisive, populist majoritarianism will be India's root to national security. So all this ort of majoritarianism may certainly for a while win elections, but it is taking India down and uncertain path,"
As an answer to the question, she said: "Dr. Singh was the Prime Minister and I'm sure Dr. Rajan will agree that Dr. Singh would have had a consistent articulated vision for India".