‘Poverty alleviation schemes must be linked to asset creation’

Accusing the Congress of “policy paralysis,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Saturday reiterated the BJP’s commitment to increase the investments to allow India achieve its growth potential.

Mr. Jaitley who presented the economic resolution that was subsequently passed at the party’s National Council meeting here, said: “The UPA has been in power since 10 years. It inherited a robust economy. The NDA did well in its six-year rule. It overcame the East Asian crisis and one of the worst ever drought. It left behind an 8.5 percent GDP growth.”

He said the economy grew in the first few years of the UPA on account of the impetus of past policies. “Global investors are withdrawing as they lost faith in the Indian economy. ‘I’ in the BRICS may be knocked off. A declining pattern of investment and a reverse flight of the domestic investment out of the country can be seen. Inflation has been unsustainably high in the economy.”

Accusing the UPA of failing to create more jobs, the BJP leader said there was a slow down in infrastructure development, the power sector reforms brought in by the NDA regime have been derailed by the coal block allocation policy and projects worth Rs.7 lakh crore have been blocked by various objections.

“The leadership of the Prime Minister was non-inspirational. He commanded no authority. He did not have the last word to overrule others. The National Advisory Council was an extra constitutional structure which could overrule the government. Instead of boosting the economy, its poverty alleviation schemes were aimed at vote-banks. Neither the economy gained nor did the voters benefitted,” he said attacking the UPA.

Proposing the agenda for change, he said the first right of natural resources cannot be on basis of religion; it must belong to the poor. “India needs growth. All poverty alleviation schemes must be linked to asset creation. Top priority will have to be given to housing, water, power and quality of life. Job creation is the key. Infrastructure such as highways, transportation, ports, townships have to be expedited. Power production has to pick up. India needs manufacturing sector reforms.”

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