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Updated: April 21, 2012 02:37 IST

Basu's remarks open new front for blame game

Special Correspondent
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BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy. File photo
The Hindu
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy. File photo

Both UPA, Opposition take dig at each other for slowdown in economic reforms

The statement by the Prime Minister's Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu that economic reforms are not possible till the 2014 general election has provided fresh fodder to the ruling combine and the Opposition to take a dig at each other.

While the Opposition maintained that it was the United Progressive Alliance government which was responsible for the slowdown in economic reforms, the Congress argued that the Opposition should rise above partisan politics and help the government push through important bills on economic reforms.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the UPA was not able to get its own allies on board on further economic reforms. “It shows complete lack of faith. Some of the key allies were no longer supporting the government on anything. “Major alliance partners will not like to go with the Congress any more...The burden of charges on the UPA government, be it graft or price rise, allies are no more with them.”

Responding to questions on Dr. Basu's controversial remarks on the slowdown in economic reforms and decision-making, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “Economic reforms have to be contextualised in the prevailing economic situation. Not only India, the entire world, has passed through a very difficult economic period in the last four years. In Europe and in certain other parts of the world, growth still remains very sluggish…”

But he stressed that the UPA government was committed to both social sector reforms aimed at ameliorating the condition of the poor and the vulnerable as well as those economic reforms that were of interest to the corporate sector, and relating to pensions, and the banking and insurance sectors.

‘Big ticket reforms'

Taking a swipe at the Opposition, Mr. Tewari said all the so-called “big ticket reforms” required legislative approval. “There are bills before the Standing Committees, some of them have come back to the government, and some are still being examined by the Standing Committees...You require the support of the Opposition, especially in the Rajya Sabha, to see them through,” he said, adding, “Had the government not been committed to this process, they would not have brought these Bills to the House.”

Mr. Tewari expressed the hope that “on certain issues, the Opposition would rise above party politics and see that this process is pushed forward.”

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Mr. Basu says that reforms would come in a big way after 2014 elections if single party rule were to take place. What are the chances of that? The problems of the Congress rule out a simple majority for them and the BJP has been unable to capitalize on Congress's paralysis. The only hope is that the next coalition, either UPA or NDA, is free from the communist/socialist parties of West Bengal. Maybe, MAYBE, there's a chance of some big ticket reforms taking place.

from:  Anuj Shah
Posted on: Apr 21, 2012 at 01:41 IST

India's debt is around 65% of GDP. More growth could be more debt that could lead us to depression. U.S. and Europe are still struggling to come out of depression and we should be cautious in managing our economy.

from:  Venkatesh Kalla
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 22:26 IST

Hilarious statement by Mr.Basu. I can imagine the guy holding back a gigantic chuckle as he made it. Sad state of affairs. It's indeed difficult to not get demoralized and feel dejected upon reading statements like these; which are so pathetically translucent in nature.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 18:56 IST

The main hurdle is the BJP(fascist/communal forces ) which want India divided & do not want to see India shining . 2002-Gujarat-riots , are the evident .

from:  ds meena
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:27 IST

what will happen if they will start reform ? BJP will be the first one to oppose reforms.

from:  ravi
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 17:19 IST

Is Mr.Basu trying to emphasize on the fact that UPA-II will be
congress's last outing?

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Apr 20, 2012 at 16:18 IST
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