Ravi Shankar Prasad points to price rise, higher unemployment rate among others
The BJP on Saturday accused the United Progressive Alliance government of systematically destroying each and every component of the Indian economy.
“The mismanagement of India’s economy under an economist Prime Minister, leading to price rise, higher unemployment and near-destruction of all engines of the economy is one of the biggest shames of the 10-year misrule of the Congress-led UPA,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement.
Releasing a comparison of the latest available key economic data with 2003-04, the last year of the BJP-led NDA’s rule, he said, “When the NDA assumed office in 1998, the growth rate was 4.8 per cent and when it left office in May 2004, it was at a robust 8.5 per cent. This was achieved in spite of many inhibiting factors such as the sanctions post-Pokhran II, the Kargil War, the attack on Parliament and a drought in 2002.”
On inflation, he said, “In 2009, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi publicly promised to control inflation in 100 days, yet nothing meaningful could be done for nearly five years and the aam aadmi suffered the most because of complete indifference of the government. It was never interested in controlling price rise because of vested interest, apart from gross mismanagement of our food economy.”
The all-India average retail inflation during the NDA’s tenure of 1998-2004 was 5 per cent compared to 7.9 per cent under the UPA since 2004-05.
The Congress did not counter the BJP’s charges. But informed sources indicated that it is likely to come out with a comprehensive response in a couple of days.
The party manifesto said the greatest achievement of the UPA was that it brought 14 crore people out of poverty in the last 10 years. “In the 10 years of UPA-I and UPA-II, India achieved an average annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent; during the NDA tenure it was 5.9 per cent,” the manifesto said.
“With the critical state of economy because of gross mismanagement, with industrial production and manufacturing seriously crippled, it is no surprise that the UPA’s record at job creation has been extremely poor,” Mr. Prasad said.
Citing National Sample Survey Data, he said the NDA created 6.07 crore jobs in its six years. In comparison, in the eight years till 2012, for which data was available, the UPA could manage to create only 1.54 crore jobs.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in a release said, “Unemployment rate under the NDA went up from 7.3 per cent in 1999-2000 to 8.3 per cent in 2004-05. Under the UPA, it came down to 5.6 per cent.” He interpreted the data as “movement of the workforce towards higher paying skilled jobs as employment during 2005-2012 went up in the services, manufacturing and construction sectors.”