Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "great economist", who she said has given a positive direction to the nation's economy.
"Modiji is a great economist. He has given a positive direction to the nation's economy which earlier economic stalwarts at the helm had failed to do," she told reporters here.
Irani's statement came against the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi's jibe at Modi for taking "one-hour class" from former prime minister Manmohan Singh, a renowned economist.
"Manmohan Singh said economy is going down. After that the prime minister took classes (paathshaala) from Manmohan Singh for one hour. He tried to understand how economy is run as he is not being able to understand it. Maybe Manmohan Singh made him understand it. I will ask him," Rahul said yesterday at National Student’s Union of India's national convention.
The prime minister, Irani said, has created trust among the common people by introducing various schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana in the last one year of the Bharatiya Janata Party rule at the Centre.
Irani was on a day-long visit here to address party workers to mark the BJP's one year in office.
Referring to the coal sector, Irani said it was earlier marked by scams but now there has been a huge turnover resulting in considerable income to the nation.
"All these have been possible due to the good management of the nation's economy and polity," she said.
Modi has also given considerable importance to agriculture and the sector would witness remarkable changes in the days to come, the Union minister said.
Irani claimed that during the United Progressive Alliance regime, only two kms of road was laid daily while during the Modi government's one year of rule 11 km of road is being constructed daily.
"Modiji has given great importance to development of roads and communication network as this was the backbone of development. The government is committed to improve and provide a good network of roads," she added.
The Union minister said that henceforth NCERT books would be provided free of cost to students of class one to class eight through mobile applications.