New Delhi: In a veiled criticism of the Gujarat model of economic growth, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the Congress-led UPA government was for combining passion for growth with compassion for poor.
"I think reforms will have no meaning and reforms will not show the social, economic and political results that we desire unless we combine the passion for growth with compassion for poor," he said at a book release function at the Prime Minister's residence here.
The book is titled: 'An Agenda for India's Growth: Essays in Honour of P Chidambaram'.
Picking up from where he left in Ahmedabad, where he had invoked growth models advocated by eminent economists Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati to attack Narendra Modi government's performance in healthcare, the Minister said growth is meaningful only if it is inclusive.
"The argument is an argument that is played out as if it was theatre. Some extent there is spectacle in theatre when the arguments plays out in TV screens or newspaper. But I think we must listen to the voice of the Prime Minister who emphasised why growth will have meaning only if its inclusive growth," he said.
Chidambaram further said that the economy was going through challenging time.
"I am confident that the difficult year that we are passing through, last year was difficult this year is equally challenged, we will get over this trough and we will put India back on the high growth path," he said.
The Indian economy grew at a decade-low rate of 5 percent in 2012-13 and is projected to grow between 5.5-6 percent in the current fiscal.