The Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to bring ‘White Paper’ motion as a supplementary agenda in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The White Paper on the nation’s economy will compare the UPA years and 10 years of Modi government.
This document on economic mismanagement is likely to settle the long-standing debate on ‘issue of the economy’ once and for all before the Lok Sabha elections.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF ‘WHITE PAPER’
BJP leader and Standing Committee on Finance chairman Jayant Sinha on Wednesday said the government’s proposed ‘white paper’ will highlight the country’s “poor economic condition” when the Congress-led UPA left power and how the incumbent relief brought the turnaround.
“India’s GDP growth had slowed down to five per cent, inflation had risen to ten per cent, NPAs of banks had risen to ten per cent. The country was facing balance of payment crisis,” the MP from Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh said.
He said that it is “necessary that we present before the people that how a change has set in into the economy… There were deficiencies in every sector… If the economy is shining today and going ahead rapidly, it is due to our policies and work in these 10 years.”
With the government set to table the ‘White Paper’, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the ongoing Budget session of Parliament has been extended by a day till February 10 (Saturday).
PM MODI’S TAKE ON ECONOMY
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, gave a fiery speech in the Rajya Sabha during his reply to ‘Motion of Thanks’ to President Droupadi Murmu’s address on January 31.
He took a jibe at the Congress and said that it “openly strangled the democracy”. He said, “the Congress that dissolved democratically-elected governments overnight, the Congress that jailed the Constitutional decorum, the Congress that tried to lock up newspapers – that Congress has now acquired the habit to create narratives of breaking the country.”
He highlighted the difference in the growth of the nation’s economy and said that Congress spent 10 years in bringing India from 12th to 11th rank, just one position up.
“The Congress that brought India’s economy from number 12 to number 11 in 10 years, we brought India’s economy to number 5 in just 10 years and this Congress is here to give us long speeches on economic policies,” the prime minister said.
“During the Congress’ time…we were in fragile five,” PM Modi said, adding that now our economy is “in top five”.
WHO WILL PRESENT THE WHITE PAPER
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the ‘white paper’ in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Sitharaman, during her interim Budget speech and also said that the central government would table the ‘white paper’.
“The crisis of those years has been overcome, and the economy has been put firmly on a high sustainable growth path with all-round development,” the finance minister had said during her speech on February 1.
“It is now appropriate to look at where we were then till 2014 and where we are now, only for the purpose of drawing lessons from the mismanagement of those years. The government will lay a ‘white paper’ on the table of the House,” Sitharaman had said.
OPPOSITION’S TAKE ON ‘WHITE PAPER’
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that they have no “problem” with the Centre’s ‘White Paper’. Talking to news agency ANI, Chowdhury said “But Mehul Choksi’s papers should also be brought to the House. Why are banks looted under their government? What is their relation with those who loot banks and run away abroad?…”
RJD MP Manoj Jha, on the other hand, said that “white paper will turn into a white elephant”. “White paper means you can specify the number of jobs given…where have you reached? So this isn’t white paper but a white elephant just before the elections,” Jha added.
Earlier, DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran had said, “The Finance Minister took a long time to hail praises but delivery was zero. They are going to present a white paper on the previous government… Nothing much has happened in the last 10 years.”
Talking to reporters, Maran said, “The people of the country are already disappointed. Moreover, you realise that performance incentives are given to the bridge companies, and not going to the deserving ones. People are rejected with this budget.”
(With PTI, ANI inputs)