Top points from the “White Paper”
- The UPA government inherited a healthy economy that was ready for further reforms, but has left it underperforming in its decade in office. In 2004, when the UPA government began its tenure, the economy grew at 8 percent amid a favorable global economic environment (with the growth of the industrial and services sectors each over 7 percent and the revitalizing growth of the agriculture sector over 9 percent in FY04 ). .
- Inflation raged between 2009 and 2014 and the common man bore the brunt. High budget deficits in the six years between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2014 compounded the misery of ordinary and poorer households.
- The banking crisis was one of the most important and infamous legacies of the UPA government. When the Vajpayee-led NDA government came into office, the gross non-performing assets ratio (GNPA) of public sector banks was 16.0 per cent and when they left office it was 7.8 Percent.
- Poor policy planning and implementation during the UPA years also resulted in large unspent funds for many social sector programs, which in turn compromised the effectiveness of government programs.
- The UPA's year in power (or its absence) was marked by political misadventures and scams such as the opaque auction of public resources (coal and telecom spectrum), the specter of retrospective taxation, unsustainable demand stimulus, and aimless and reckless subsidies and lending by the banking sector with undertones of cronyism etc.
- The 2G spectrum scam involving 122 telecom licenses, which the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) estimates cost Rs 1.76 billion crore from the national exchequer, the Coal Gate scam which cost the national exchequer Rs 1.86 million crore, the Common Wealth Games (CWG scam etc. indicated an environment of heightened political uncertainty and negatively impacted India's image as an investment destination.
- Launched by the UPA in 2006, Aadhar was a concrete development of the idea of a “national multi-purpose card” proposed by the Vajpayee-led NDA government, to be issued on the basis of a national register of Indian citizens. The story of Aadhar under the UPA government is one of inefficient decision-making, lack of purpose and political failure.
- In the UPA government, decision-making came to a standstill due to corruption and defense scandals, which affected defense preparedness. The government delayed the acquisition of artillery and anti-aircraft guns, fighters, submarines, night fighting equipment and a variety of equipment improvements.
- There was widespread corruption in various government activities, including procurement, natural resource allocation, and regulatory approvals. Even procurements that are crucial to the country's security were not free from corruption. The frauds and corruption cases had shaken people's trust.
- There have been repeated leadership crises in the UPA government. It came to full public attention when a regulation issued by the government was shamefully publicly torn up.
- The UPA government has miserably failed to facilitate economic activities. Instead, the UPA government created hurdles that slowed the economy.
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first published: February 8, 2024, 5:30 PM IST
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