Poll will be fought on how UPA "mismanaged" economy: BJP

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 30 2014, 04:12am hrs
BJPBJP accused Congress-led UPA of nearly "destroying" the country's economy despite having an economist as prime minister
BJP today accused Congress-led UPA of nearly "destroying" the country's economy despite having an economist as prime minister and said the coming Lok Sabha election will be fought on how the country has been run by them.

"The rank of mismanagement of India's economy under an economist Prime Minister leading to price rise, higher unemployment and the near-destruction of all engines of economy is one of the biggest shames of the ten-year misrule of Congress-led UPA," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad charged.

He claimed when NDA had handed over power to UPA in 2004, the state of the economy was "robust in all spheres" and the higher growth level achieved in the initial years of UPA was a result of the solid base its coalition left.

"All the parametres of the Indian economy were fine when NDA left and gave a solid base...Today, policy paralysis, indecision, price rise, corruption and scams have become the order of the day.

"This government is not looking inward as far as sheer destruction of Indian economy is concerned...This election will be fought on how you ran the country," he said.

Dishing out figures from government data, Prasad listed various parametres on which the economy is in shambles - be it lower growth rate and industrial growth, high fiscal deficit, inflation and current account deficit, rising unemployment and declining industrial production and manufacturing sector.

He alleged UPA has destroyed employment generation.

"UPA could not even sustain the gains in efficiency achieved by NDA!," he said.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should answer how the economy was destroyed under their regime," Prasad said.

Taking a jibe at Finance Minister P Chidamabaram for accusing BJP of doing "fake encounters with facts", he said "these are your facts" and not fake encounters.

Prasad said when the NDA government had assumed office in 1998, India's growth rate was 4.8 pc and when it left, it was at a robust growth rate of 8.5 pc, which was despite many inhibiting factors like Pokhran II sanctions, Kargil War, attack on Indian Parliament and 2002 drought.

He said even Chidambaram was compelled to concede in the Economic Survey 2005 that the economy had registered a growth rate of 8.5 per cent, the highest in last 30 years except two years.

"With this very robust and stable economic foundation which the UPA inherited it systematically destroyed each and every component of the economy," he said.

In contrast to the NDA regime, he said during UPA regime the growth rate in 2012-13 was 4.96 pc and in 2013-14 (till December) was 4.6 per cent.

He said the industrial growth rate during NDA was 4.01 per cent in 1998-99 and had increased to 7.32 in 2003-04, while it was 2.1 per cent in 20012-13 and -2 per cent in 2013-14 (till December) during the current fiscal.

He said the Current Account Deficit has also increased to -4.8 per cent now against a surplus of 2.7 per cent when NDA left power.

On external debt, he said, from 112.7 billion US Dollars when NDA left power, it has now swelled to 390 billion US dollars under UPA.

"Even the Fiscal deficit of 5.2 pc in 2012-13 and 4.6 pc in 2013-14 could be achieved by hugely cutting planned expenditure of 90,000 crores and 79,790 crores in the respective Budget as per the Planning Commission databook.

Prasad also charged the UPA for failure to control prices. "The NDA Government left the office with consumer price index at 3.86 pc while the rate of inflation of the UPA government was 9 per cent in 2011-2012 and 8 per cent in 2012 -2013, with an average of 7.93 during the entire UPA rule.