Free Press Journal

Cong hits back at Govt on ‘economy in tatters’ remark


Arun Jaitley, Delhi BudgetArun Jaitley, Delhi Budget

New Delhi: Citing statistics, Congress today attacked the NDA government on its allegations that UPA dispensation had left the country’s economy in tatters even as it assured the ruling BJP of all co-operation provided steps taken by it were in the country’s interest.

Participating in a debate in the Rajya Sabha on motion of thanks on the President’s address, former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma countered Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s observation on subdued economic growth for the last two years, saying the average growth of 7.6 per cent during the 10-year UPA rule was better than 5.9 per cent in NDA regime.

Jaitley had yesterday slammed the previous UPA government for leaving the country in shambles with subdued growth and “elevated” poverty.

Despite half of its 10-year rule faced financial slowdown and economic recession, the UPA government left the economy with USD two trillion of GDP from over USD 500 billion in 2004, while the per capita income rose to Rs 69,000 from Rs 24,000, and foreign reserves swelled to USD 312 billion from 110 billion, Sharma said.

India’s exports have also gone up from USD 63 billion in 2004 to USD 313 billion despite the fact that the global trade contracted by 7-12 per cent during recession, he said, adding that the observation that the previous rule left the economy in tatters was not “generous and fair.”

“I don’t wish that misfortune to the new government, to the Prime Minister and his team…We will be responsible (Opposition), we will do everything which is in the interest of the democracy and the country,” Sharma said, reminding incidents of non-cooperation by the Opposition due to which UPA government could not even introduce its council of ministers and table the Budget in the Upper House.

However, at the same time, he warned that if such steps were taken which could hurt the interest of the country, there would be vociferous protests.

Sharma also wished that the new government did not change or reverse policies adopted by the UPA government as “we never changed or reversed NDA policies.”

He also highlighted steps taken by the UPA government in lifting 13 crore people out of poverty level and said, “Who can deny this? You can’t distort. History will only record truth.”

Suggesting the new government to come out of the election campaign mode and get into serious work, he said, “Complete what you have promised. There is nothing new (in promises you have made. I wish good luck. Vision is good. I hope you will fulfil the promises.”