High growth under UPA government led to dramatic economic collapse: NITI Aayog

Marco Green
August 20, 2018

The war of words between Congress and BJP prompted the the ministry of statistics and programme implementation as well as the National Statistical Commission which had set up the committee which revised the estimates, to clarify that the report had not been accepted yet.

At a press conference today, former finance minister P. Chidambaram said that the data established that both terms of the UPA delivered the highest decadal growth (8.13% at factor cost) since India acquired independence and that it handed over an Indian economy on the upswing in 2014.

The Congress on Sunday defended the record of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on the basis of recently published back series data on gross domestic product (GDP). He argued that while high growth during the global boom was not peculiar to India, it was during the last four years the Narendra Modi government has ensured that India is the fastest growing economy, despite a global slowdown.

"Since the advent of the BJP-led NDA government in May 2014, there has been a determined effort to run down the record of the two UPA governments under Manmohan Singh during 2004-2009 and 2009-2014". The complicated procedure of returns filings under GST was another example of "tax terrorism", he added. "The big slump actually came post 2012, when the UPA started fixing the budget and containing the effects of fiscal expansion of the previous years", said Pronab Sen, former chief statistician of India.

Similarly, the GDP growth at market prices clocked 7.68% for UPA 2 as against 7.33% for the first four years of the Modi government.

Conveying his good wishes to the government in its fifth year, for the sake of the country, the Congress leader said the present dispensation cannot match the average growth rate of the UPA 1, but "we hope it can catch up with the average growth rate of the UPA 2".

He added that this reflected in Mundle Committee's estimates of the back series as well. "The numbers prove the dictum that truth can not be suppressed forever, and that the truth has a way of emerging amid a torrent of lies and distortions".

Meanwhile, Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Adviser to the finance ministry, said the suggested back series shows that growth had already accelerated to over 8 per cent in 2003-04, following a series of important reforms under the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "During Narendra Modi's regime, the country has transformed from the Fragile Five Economies to fabulous few destinations", he said. Besides, the fiscal deficit had been reduced to 4.48% and the current account deficit had been contained at 1.7%.

"The peak Gross Fixed Capital Formation as per cent of GDP was 34.3 per cent in 2011-12". This fell to 7.39 per cent during its second term in 2009-14. In 2013-14, it was 14.0 per cent. "But this government doesn't have them", he said. "Likewise, highest ever growth rate during 1987-89 Rajiv Gandhi period was also debt funded and led to disastrous collapse of growth in 1990-92 and the unmitigated external account crisis that forced India to physically transfer its gold reserves to avoid a debt service default", Mr Kumar said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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