Economy: FM lambasts UPA for ‘family first’ policies, leaving India in ‘dire straits’ by 2014
New Delhi: A day after tabling the White Paper in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday lambasted the previous Congress-led UPA government for its mismanagement of the economy, saying the party put “family first” in all policies and left the country in “dire straits” by 2014, but it is now lecturing the Modi government on how to handle the economy.
Initiating the debate on the “White Paper on the Indian economy and its impact on the lives of people of India” in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the Modi government put “nation first,” and took the economy from “Fragile Five” to “Top Five.”
India is now on the way to becoming the third-largest global economy, she said.
Amid constant bickering by the Congress members, Sitharaman said the White Paper is for record of posterity and the youth should know what efforts Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put in to restore India’s past glory.
“Ten years of one government with some crisis and 10 years of a different government with a different crisis. The comparison shown in this ‘White Paper’ clearly says how if the government handles it with true sincerity, transparency and putting the nation first, the results are there for everybody to see,” Sitharaman said.
“When you don’t put the nation first when you put your first family first, and when you have other consideration than transparency, the results are out there for you to see. So, what happened after 2008 when there was a global financial crisis and what happened post-COVID shows clearly that if the intent of the government is sincere, results will be good.”
The minister said the COVID crisis was much “deadlier” than the global financial crisis of 2008, but the Modi government handled it with sincerity, transparency, and dedication to providing free vaccines to people.
The UPA government in 2008 did not have a “clean” intention in dealing with the crisis.
“During the global financial crisis, Congress did nothing to protect the interest of the nation, and scandal after scandal continued to take place. They left the nation in dire straits in 2014. God knows what would have happened had they continued…They were unable to save the Indian economy. Those who could not handle the global financial crisis are now lecturing us how to deal with a crisis…,” she remarked.
Referring to the coal scam during UPA, she cited the CAG report to say that it resulted in a huge loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the country and the Supreme Court had to cancel the licenses of 214 coal blocks.
The coal scam resulted in job losses, and created coal shortages and power outages, she said, adding that investments too suffered.
On the other hand, the Modi government transparently conducted coal auctions and now coal production has increased to 900 MT from 567 MT in 2014.
“You turned coal into ashes, but the Modi government through its policies turned coal into diamonds,” Sitharaman said, adding that the Congress is now shredding “crocodile tears” even though coal-bearing states had suffered revenue losses as a result of the scam during their time.
Having given coal mines to family members, friends, and even a gutkha company, Sitharaman said “They (Congress) are now giving us a lecture on crony capitalism.”
India witnessed the Commonwealth Games scam during the UPA rule which brought a “bad name” to the country, whereas the G-20 events hosted by the Modi government were appreciated and lauded across the world.
Concerning the banking sector, Sitharaman said the practice of phone banking during UPA time led to an increase in bad loans.
The Modi government took a host of decisions and now the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of public sector banks have declined to 3.2 percent and their profitability has soared to Rs 1.08 lakh crore.