The UPA government is responsible for the ills facing the economy and an “irretrievable” situation has been created due to its “incompetence and corruption,” the Opposition alleged in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Initiating a discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants (General), BJP leader Ananth Kumar held Finance Minister P. Chidambaram responsible for the current economic situation, which he termed “irretrievable.”
“People’s dreams of a robust and prosperous economy have been ruined by the incompetence and corruption of this government.” The economy was in a mess with high inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit, he said.
Mr. Kumar said: “The UPA earlier created jobless growth. Now there is no job, no growth. It is in fact negative growth.” He attributed the economical problems to the stimulus package announced by Mr. Chidambaram in his tenure as Finance Minister in 2008-09, which started the fall of the economy. He made a strong plea for lowering the income tax rate from 10 to 5 per cent to give relief to 3.5 crore households earning less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum. Such families were badly hit by rising prices. He also slammed the government for unemployment, suicides by farmers, rising prices of essential commodities, the CWG and 2G scams and Coalgate.
Madhu Goud Yashki (Congress) accused the BJP of having indulged in corruption in States like Karnataka and during the earlier NDA rule. “On the one hand, they oppose FDI, and on the other they express concern and ask why foreign investment is not coming. Such is the irresponsible attitude of the main Opposition party.”
Shailendra Kumar (Samajwadi Party) wanted the government to take urgent steps to check inflation, restore confidence in investors, create jobs and check the falling value of the rupee.
Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said the government should have focussed on increasing the agricultural growth to 4 per cent. Had it happened, the country would have been in a different league.
There was apprehension that the government would tinker with the minimum support price of grains to deal with the expenditure on implementing the Food Security Act.
Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) said India was giving Rs. 1,830 crore to the International Monetary Fund but was likely to go to the same body soon to borrow money. The Food Security Act would add to the woes of the spiralling inflation rate.
P. Karunakaran (CPI-M) said there was severe decline in the construction and mining sectors.
Thambi Durai (AIADMK) said inflation was “very high” and the growth rate had declined. The government was not serious about the issues faced by farmers.