PM hits back at critics
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hit back at political critics on his government's performance saying it makes for good television but presents a very distorted picture.
"Let me address the issue of UPA government's performance. Our political critics focus on the experience of one bad year. This makes for good television but it is a very distorted picture," he said addressing the Assocham annual meeting.
He told his critics that the annual average growth in the eight years of UPA from 2004-05 to 2012-13 was 8.2 percent, much better than the 5.7 percent reached in the previous eight years under the NDA.
Singh said agriculture did much better in the 11th Plan than in the 10th Plan and rural real wages have increased in much faster in the 11th Plan than during the 10 years preceding it.
The percentage of population below poverty line declined to 0.7 percent per year before UPA came to power, he said, adding, "it has fallen more than 2 percentage points per year between 2004-05 and 2011-12."
"I think this is a record that any government can be proud of. I agree we have had one bad year. I assure you we will get out of it," the Prime Minister said.
Promising that the government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the economy rebounds, Singh asked industrialists not to be overcome by negative sentiments.
"We should stay the course and work together to achieve our collective national goals", he said.