The UPA government had “inherited a healthy economy but made it non-performing in 10 years,” the Centre said in its comparative White Paper on the 10 years of the UPA and the decade under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In an all-out attack on the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due in summer, the Centre accused the UPA government that went out of office in 2014, of “mismanagement and short-sighted handling of the public finances… and undermining the macroeconomic foundations”.
The government abandoned the principles that brought about the economic liberalisation. There was economic mismanagement and financial indiscipline, and there was widespread corruption, the Centre has said, slamming the Manmohan Singh government on a day he finishes his Rajya Sabha tenure.
“In 2004, when the UPA government began its term, the economy was growing at 8 per cent (with industry and services sector growth above 7 per cent each and a resuscitating agriculture sector growth above 9 per cent in FY04) amidst a benign world economic environment,” read the White Paper tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in parliament this evening.
But instead of taking the reforms further and consolidating the gains, the UPA only took credit for the high growth brought about by the “lagged effects of the reforms of the NDA government and favourable global conditions”.
Having created a huge fiscal deficit, the UPA government borrowed heavily from outside but used the funds in an unproductive manner. Infrastructure was neglected and social sector schemes were laden with unspent funds.
The White Paper said the average annual inflation rate between 2004 and 2014 was around 8.2% and accused the UPA of doing nothing to contain the high inflation.