Sitharaman slams Congress for high inflation, project delays in UPA years

New Delhi: Hitting out at the Congress party, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that development works faced inordinate delays during UPA government, subsidies were ill-targeted and wasteful expenditures were made for political gains.

Replying to short duration discussion in Rajya Sabha on White Paper on Indian Economy comparing the performance of 10 years of the UPA and the Modi governments, the Minister said that inflation was very high during the UPA government and as a result poor people faced economic pain.

“Average inflation under UPA (2004-14) was 8.2%. Average retail inflation during UPA-II (2009-14) was over 10%. Double digit inflation occurred nine times from January 2012 to April 2014,” she said.

The Minister remarked, “Gur ko gobar karna inke mastery hai.”

Sitharaman also said that the the UPA government ignored the development works in the North East.

She highlighted that the Modi government has accelerated the pace of development in the country and ensured that various schemes are implemented on time and benefits reach the people.

She noted that the Modi government has taken a lot of measures to contain inflation.

The Finance Minister noted that the government has strengthened buffer stock, made sure that essential food items are kept in buffer and released in market frequently.

She also stated that open market operations are carried out to ensure availability of sufficient food items in the market.

Sitharaman earlier tabled the white paper on Indian economy in both the Houses of Parliament. The white paper claims that the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh inherited a healthy economy ready for more reforms but made it non-performing in 10 years.

It states that double-digit inflation prevailed during the UPA government and the country’s banking sector struggled.

The paper also highlights the ‘scams’ in the UPA government and alleges that the UPA government in its quest to maintain high economic growth severely undermined the macroeconomic foundations.

Congress party members in both the Houses questioned the timing of the white paper and listed out various initiatives taken by the UPA government during 2004-14.

UNI

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