Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Listing out the achievements of nine years of UPA government at the Centre, Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that next year they will report directly to the people to seek a renewed mandate.
Starting on a philosophical note the PM said on the fourth Anniversary of UPA-II government, “UPA government has taken the country forward but we have many more miles to travel.”
Manmohan Singh while unveiling UPA’s report card began with the achievements of his government on the economic front.
“The country saw an improved performance of economy and inclusive growth under our government. We are the one of the fastest growing economy in the world including the years where we saw a slowdown,” he said.
However, he added that there was a period of slowdown but he attributed it to a slowdown of world economy. “Slowdown was a global phenomenon,” he said.
Singh said 8% growth rate was possible if the Congress-led coalition is voted to power again next year.
“The economic situation is turning around. Inflation is coming under control. The fiscal deficit is being brought under control. The current account deficit is high, but we will bring it down gradually,” he said adding, “We are confident that growth in 2013-14 will be better than 2012-13 and could exceed 6%.
“A 6% growth in the current year will set the stage for returning to 8% growth in the current Five Year Plan period ending March 31, 2017,” he said. However, he added, “This will be difficult, but it is not impossible. We have done it before, and if we receive a mandate next year, we will certainly achieve it again.”
The PM sounded confident of a 4% growth in the agriculture sector during 12th Plan, saying that the government was bringing food security legislation on back of higher food grain output and crop diversification.
“We achieved 3.7% growth per year in agriculture during the Eleventh Plan compared with only 2.4% in the Tenth Plan. We are targeting 4% in the Twelfth Plan, and I am confident we can do it,” Singh said.
He also said that agriculture wages grew sharply in the UPA regime.
“Faster agricultural growth, combined with government programmes such as MGNREGA, and the expanded pace of investment in rural infrastructure have improved real wages of agricultural labour.”
“Our efforts at increasing food grain production are working as also our efforts to diversify agriculture. This is the foundation which allows us to introduce Food Security legislation in parliament,” Singh said.
The PM stressed that inflation was coming under control and that under UPA government a good record in rural growth had been witnessed.
On the issue of UPA besieged by allegations of scams, the PM said, “Allegations of impropriety are being investigated and cases of wrong doing will be punished.”
He added that said much has been made out of problems that arose with the way scarce resources such as spectrum and mining blocks were allocated in the past and there have been allegations of deliberate malfeasance.
“We have introduced more transparent systems for the future, i.e., auctions rather than relying on administrative allocations. The problems with past allocations are being dealt with, as they should be, under the law,” he said.
Prime Minister further said that the root cause of the problem has been addressed and it will not arise in future. “But we can claim credit that the root cause of the problem, which was the perceived non-transparency in the manner of allocation, has been addressed and these problems will not arise in the future.”
Stating that improving the quality of governance was a major challenge, he said, “Both the Centre and the States have to act to deal with this problem. The UPA government has done more in this area than any other government.”
At the same time he highlighted the achievements of UPA like the Right to Information Act and the passing of the Lokpal Bill.
Manmohan Singh also said that that relation with the world had improved under the UPA rule.
“Relations with China show our ability to manage difficult issues,” he said.
He ended with a promise of an “India where every citizen can expect to live a life of security and dignity.” “UPA government working to realise the dream of an
economically resurgent and socially just India,” said the PM.
With PTI inputs