Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the White Paper on the Indian Economy in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. (Representative image)
UPA govt demonstrated that it is easier to hurt the economy than it is to help it, they inherited a healthy economy and bequeathed an enfeebled one to us, says White Paper on the Indian Economy
There was a mountain of bad loans in the banking sector, a high fiscal deficit despite much of it being hidden, a high current account deficit, double-digit inflation for five years which hit the pockets of many Indians and membership of the club of ‘Fragile Five’ during the UPA government in 2013, according to the ‘White Paper on the Indian Economy’ tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on February 8.
“They (UPA) not only failed to impart dynamism into the economy but also robbed the economy of it such that our industrialists went on record stating that they would rather invest abroad than in India. To drive investors away is easy but to win them back is hard,” said the ‘white paper’.
It added that the UPA government also demonstrated that it is easier to hurt the economy than it is to help it. They inherited a healthy economy and bequeathed an enfeebled one to us.
“We (NDA government under PM Modi) have restored its vitality,” it said.
On the inflation, the white paper said that to tackle the enduring challenge of high inflation inherited from the UPA government in 2014, the Modi government strategically addressed the root cause of the problem by implementing responsible fiscal and monetary policies.
It said the current government has also made concerted efforts to control the high external sector vulnerability inherited from the UPA government.
“Due to the economy’s strong fundamentals restored by our government, the rupee demonstrated resilience during global shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and taper tantrum of 2021-22 by major central bank,” according to the ‘White Paper on the Indian Economy’.
The government document said not only did the NDA government manage the current account prudently, but it also ensured its smooth and comfortable funding via more stable foreign direct investment (FDI).
“As a result, India’s external sector is much safer, with forex reserves increasing from $303 billion (equivalent to 7.8 months of imports) in March 2014 to $617 billion (10.6 months of imports) in January 2024,” it said.
On public finances, the paper said when the Modi government came to office in 2014, public finances were not in a healthy state. To restore public finances to good health, our government went to great lengths to transform India’s fiscal system into a reformed tax and spending ecosystem.
“The UPA Government failed miserably to facilitate economic activities. Instead, the UPA Government created hurdles that held back economy. It basked in the after-glory of the lagged effects of the reforms of the Vajpayee-led NDA government and benign global conditions and proceeded to exploit the resultant fast economic growth for narrow political purposes without much concern for long-term economic consequences,” according to the document.