The government’s proposed ‘white paper’ comparing the economic situation before and after 2014 is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
The white paper will highlight the country’s “poor economic condition” during that time and how the Modi government improved the economy, said BJP’s Jayant Sinha, chairman of the parliamentary finance committee.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman first made the call for a white paper in her budget speech, stating that India was in a “crisis” in 2014 when the Modi government came to power and overcame “crisis of those years” to put the economy on a sustainable growth path.
Blaming “mismanagement” of the previous Congress-led UPA regime, she said on February 1 that the government will lay a ‘white paper’ on the table of the House.
The ongoing Budget session has been extended by a day as the government prepares to present the ‘white paper’, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said yesterday.
What is a ‘white paper’?
A ‘white paper’ is an informational report that highlights policies, achievements and issues of the government. Government papers are colour-coded for distribution and white is designated for public access, according to Stanford Law School.
Governments usually bring a white paper on a particular subject to discuss issues, suggest action, or draw a conclusion.
Why is the government bringing a white paper?
The Centre is bringing a white paper this Budget session to clarify how the Modi government brought a turnaround after – as ministers claimed – the Congress-led UPA government left the economy in a “crisis” state in 2014.
“In the white paper, we will clarify what was the position of economy (before 2014)…and how we have tackled the economic problems,” said Mr Sinha, claiming that India was among the ‘fragile five’ economies in 2013.
Ms Sitharaman, in her budget speech, had said it is the appropriate time to look where the country was till 2014 and draw lessons from the “mismanagement of those years”.
The government has often charged the Congress with mismanaging the economy and ‘white paper’ will provide them a handle to attack the opposition ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, due in another two months.