Scams did have a damaging impact on India growth story: Harish Rawat

On Zee Media’s Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, Harish Rawat, the Union Minister for Water Resources candidly accepted UPA government’s ailments.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2013, 17:39 PM IST

It’s not every day a Cabinet rank minister admits his government’s faults. But, on Zee Media’s Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, Harish Rawat, the Union Minister for Water Resources candidly accepted UPA government’s ailments.

Zee Research Group/Delhi

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is not alone responsible for policy paralysis that plagued the country in the incumbent government’s second tenure even though the regimes’ credibility has diminished due to multi-crore scams like the 2G spectrum allocation, the Delhi Commonwealth Games et al, said Harish Rawat. The Union Minister for Water Resources also stressed on optimum utilisation of country’s natural resources like water while blaming excessive political hurdles for stalling big ticket power projects.

“Many leaders in the government do hesitate to accept it but I am ready to admit that scams ranging from the 2G spectrum allocation to Coalgate have affected our economic situation. The Comptroller and Auditor-General estimated loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore turned out to be false but it definitely had a detrimental effect on India’s growth story”, admitted Rawat on Zee Media’s Mudda Aapka under the network’s Bharat Bhagya Vidhata initiative.

On policy paralysis, the Cabinet minister defended his government that government alone can’t be hold responsible for stalling key legislations in a parliamentary democracy.

“The word policy paralysis evolved because the legislations introduced by the government were not cleared by the Parliament. Here, I think the onus is both on the government and the opposition as the government can only table a bill.”

Along with senior journalist Madhusudan Anand, the minister dwelt on the grim situation of power, road and water in the country during the show.

Anand criticized the UPA government for not being able to generate enough power even after years of signing the nuclear agreement with the US. Rawat, however, defended the government by saying that political opposition and roadblocks are not letting the government to go ahead with its plans.

“Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power project witnessed several delays like for instance local NGOs opposed its establishment for over a year. The government wants to set up more power projects in the country but there are many political voices against it, Jagatpur is one such examples of it”, explained Rawat.

The minister, however, assured that the power situation in India will improve in 2014.

Likewise, on water, he opined that the biggest challenge is to store rain water of which 80 per cent goes waste in India.

“The UPA government has decided to a make a national framework law for better storage and equal distribution of water. Since water is a state matter we also want their (state governments) support to go ahead with our plans.”

Anand believed it is unfortunate in the extreme that even after 66 years of independence, we are grappling with power, road and water. He revealed that many cities in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are getting water only once a week.

(Mudda Aapka airs every Monday @ 10pm)