1.6 times between FY00 and FY05 and employment rose from 396.8 million to 457.5 million, this slowed to just 460.2 million by FY10 even though GDP grew 2 times between FY05 and FY10. And talking to any industrialist would expose the hollowness of the pledge “to create a business environment conducive to investment and entrepreneurship”.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was spot on when he said the UPA’s growth record as well as poverty-reduction record was superior to that of the NDA, but a large part of the growth came from the global surge coupled with the results of the reforms made during the NDA years. The central message from that, as well as from Rahul Gandhi’s speech, is that it’s time the UPA moved aggressively on the next stage of reforms. Only when oil sector PSUs actually raise diesel prices every month—right now, they’ve lost more through raising the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders than they’ve made by raising diesel prices by 50 paise per litre—for the next year or so will we be able to conclude that the real message of the Chintan Shivir was about the primacy of the economic agenda. Otherwise it was just a wasted opportunity.