Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong pitch for continuation of his government’s policies, which he said have ensured high growth and contained inflation, in the election year at a global business summit in New Delhi. PM Modi presented a report card of his government’s economic policies contrasting them with those of the previous UPA government, which he accused, let corruption go unchecked for ten years of its rule.
PM Modi said the previous government under an “economist” had an average growth rate of 6.5 per cent with average inflation in double digit. “During 2014-19, the average growth rate would be 7.4 per cent while average inflation would be less than 4.5 per cent,” he said adding, “Post-liberalisation of Indian economy, this will be the highest rate of average growth and lowest rate of average inflation witnessed during the period of any government.”
He asserted that the government is “working hard to create a New India which fulfils the aspirations and dreams of 130 crore Indians”. The prime minister’s comments have come at a time when his government is facing criticism over its economic policies. The opposition parties led by the Congress have alleged that the government’s policies have “benefited only a few” leaving out the farmers, youth and poor of the ambit of governance.
The economic policies of the Modi government were at the centre of the Congress’s criticism during the assembly elections in three BJP-ruled Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Congress snatched all three states from the BJP promising pro-farmer, job-oriented and pro-poor policies of the next government.
The ruling BJP has been under pressure since the triple loss that came only months away from the parliamentary polls. PM Modi and the entire BJP leadership including party president Amit Shah have, since the losses in these three states, have shown greater urgency in conveying to the electorates that the central government has worked for the farmers, the poor and the youth.
On Saturday, PM Modi tried to draw a parallel between the previous Congress-led UPA government and his own at the Centre. PM Modi said when his government came to power in 2014, there was “total policy paralysis” which had pushed Indian economy in the club of “fragile five”. He said the economic reforms undertaken by his government have made India the fastest growing big economy.
“We are now witnessing various forms of competition today. A competition between ministries, a competition between states, a competition on development, a completion on achieving targets,” said PM Modi at the Economic Times Global Business Summit.
Taking a potshot at the Congress-led UPA government, PM Modi said, “Before 2014 also, we heard of about a competition, although of a different kind…There was competition on who can do maximum corruption. There was competition on who can do fastest corruption. There was competition on who can do most innovation in corruption.”
“We all saw that and we also know who were the main players involved in this competition. I would leave it up to you which form of competition you would be for,” he said.