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Arun Jaitley FB post creates backlash

New Delhi,July 3 (): Arun Jaitley got a taste of public opinion when he posted his comment on World UFO on his FB page. Facebook users asked him to first look at ground reality before celebrating UFO day as prices of food and other commodities are rising.

From FB it began to spread to other social media and received a volley of criticism. Arun Jaitley quietly withdrew the post.

In a yet another move which would invite the wrath of TV channels, Arun Jaitley has told the FM office that he will give interviews only to official broadcaster Doordarshan and will not do channel-hopping for discussions after the General Budget. Arun Jaitley will not go around explaining his budget to various chambers of commerce and asked Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman to coordinate and arrange for a single meeting. Arun Jaitley dumped the burden of defending the budget on Nirmala Sitharaman in all other forums.

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been entrusted with the task of explaining the Budget at all other forums. The Doordarshan which is under I&B ministry (even though it claims to be autonomous) will not have any experts to ask embarrassing questions to Arun Jaitley. The outcome would be that most business news channels would have a field day slamming Arun Jaitley whose claim to fame was his coming on TV as BJP spokesperson. Aalok Srivastava who has been with India Today and with Aaj Tak joined Doordarshan as national adviser. He has produced programmes on various topics for Aaj Tak.

Budget will waive away MAT (minimum alternate tax) on SEZ (special economic zone) to attract major investments. Commerce ministry has said with MAT, there would no investor coming forward to invest in SEZ. UPA imposed a 18.5 % MAT on SEZ. SEZ in India has only exported $87 billion last year but the argument is that it can create jobs.

As per WTO rules,  finance minister Arun Jaitley can offer tax concessions but remove additional tax like MAT. In other countries SEZ can be set up in an agricultural land but in India, a move towards that could create a furore. Arun Jaitley can offer support like state backed transportation to workers in SEZ.