Finance Minister lambasts UPA, Touts Modi govt’s economic achievements

In a debate over the ‘White Paper on Indian Economy and its impact on the lives of people of India’, Sitharaman asserted that Congress prioritised the family over the nation’s welfare, leading to the infamous fragile five status of the economy.

| Updated: 09 February, 2024 3:41 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman didn’t mince her words as she aimed at the UPA government, accusing it of economic mismanagement during the 2008 global financial crisis.

In a debate over the ‘White Paper on Indian Economy and its impact on the lives of people of India’, Sitharaman asserted that Congress prioritised the family over the nation’s welfare, leading to the infamous fragile five status of the economy.

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Sitharaman didn’t hold back, highlighting the controversies surrounding the Common Wealth Games (CWG) under the UPA’s tenure, which she claimed tarnished India’s reputation internationally. But, she lauded the Narendra Modi government’s handling of India’s G20 presidency, which she argued earned the country global respect.

Opposition members, including Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress and NK Premchandran, presented substitute motions, disapproving the government’s white paper. However, Sitharaman remained undeterred, emphasising the transformation achieved under the Modi administration’s sincere leadership.

“Ten years of one government with some crisis and 10 years of a different government with different crisis. The comparison shown in this ‘White Paper’ clearly says how if the government handles it with true sincerity, transparency and putting the nation first, the results are there for everybody to see,” Sitharaman asserted.

Pointing fingers directly at the UPA, Sitharaman said, “When you don’t put the nation first when you put your first family first, and when you have other consideration than transparency, the results are out there for you to see.”

The Finance Minister credited the Modi government’s sincere efforts for pulling the economy out of the “fragile five” and propelling it into the top five globally. She stated that India is now on the cusp of becoming one of the top three global economies.

Addressing the handling of the Covid crisis, Sitharaman emphasised the stark contrast between the UPA’s response to the 2008 financial crisis and the Modi government’s approach to the pandemic. She criticised the UPA’s lack of “clean” intentions while applauding the Modi government’s dedication and sincerity during the “deadly” Covid crisis.

Sitharaman also challenged the opposition to provide a substantive response instead of merely criticising. “If you have the courage, you should not interrupt my speech and instead give a reply,” she retorted.

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