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Last decade was a 'wasted' opportunity, says BJP

Saturday, 18 January 2014 - 8:33pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Blaming the Congress-led UPA for the poor state of country's economy, BJP on Saturday said it was not global meltdown but absence of leadership, dual power centres and inherent corruption which led to the flight of investment.

In the Economic Resolution unanimously passed at its National Council meeting, the BJP said the last decade has been a "wasted opportunity" as the government failed to control inflation and corruption, which has become the "hallmark" of this government, and led to the present state of economy.

"The economic slump under the UPA was less about global meltdown and more about complete absence of leadership, dual power centres, bankruptcy of ideas, lack of vision, disastrous policies and inherent corruption.

"It was a wasted decade in which the country saw decline of all the sectors, be it education, health, economy, politics or governance. Overall it proved a regime of rapid moral degradation," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said.

Giving a ray of hope to the country and the Indian entrepreneurs, who he said have a lot of potential, the BJP promised that it will revive the state of economy and investment in the country.

"It will be quite a challenge, though," he said.

He said after 10 years when the economy should be running and used to be showcased across the world as a perfect destination for investment, today the whole world is saying one should not invest in India.

"The whole world is not investing in India...rather the country's businessmen are investing outside. There is a reverse flight of investment. The last decade of UPA rule has been a wasted opportunity," Jaitley said.

Taking a jibe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for accusing BJP of marketing itself well and that it could sell a comb to even a bald person, Jaitley said, there is a "third political force" which seeks commission in even the selling of such a comb and it is because of this "third political force" of corruption that has brought the Indian economy to this level.

Hitting out at the Congress on the issue of corruption, which he said, touched an all-time high, the BJP leader highlighted the 2G Spectrum allocation, coal block allocations, Commonwealth Games scam and the VVIP chopper scam which "brought down" the image of the country the world over leading to decline on investment and flight of capital.

He said bad governance, policy paralysis and corruption have dealt a body blow to the investor confidence both in the country and abroad, and some serious efforts will have to be taken to to help restore it.

He said the UPA inherited a robust economy with 8.4% growth in May 2004 but had left it shattered with growth rate of a meagre less than 5% and high inflation.

Lamenting that the UPA failed to utilise global opportunities to take advantage of the demographic dividend by not providing the required global skills to the youth, Jaitley said the youth of the country will never forgive this government.

Promising to generate new employment opportunities, he said, "What India now needs is a real dose of political leadership to put the derailed economy back on the tracks.

"The country can no longer afford any further political experimentation at the cost of economic mismanagement that the country has enormously suffered under the Congress led UPA regime."

Supporting the economic resolution, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the economic health of the country and health of the government and the people had deteriorated during UPA, even as there has been reduction in moral and ethical values.

Referring to the cash-for-vote scam, he said, "This government was formed on corrupt policies, it ran on corruption and its policies were not in the interest of the common man... The wrong and bad policies of this government is responsible for the current economic situation due to the shameful loot of money and natural resources of the country." Joshi also expressed concern over the increasing loan burden on the country and feared losing India's economic sovereignty.

"If there is no economic sovereignty, then India will also lose its political sovereignty," he claimed.


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