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.”