A day after supporting the Food Security Bill, the Opposition parties launched a united attack in the Lok Sabha on the United Progressive Alliance Government’s “reckless policies” for the present economic despondency and uncertainty.

Initiating a discussion on the economic situation in the country on Tuesday, veteran CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta blamed the UPA Government for mishandling the economy and increasing its dependence on foreign investment and creating an “economic tsunami”.

“Unguarded liberalisation has made the Indian economy speculative,” he said, and flayed the Government for the large number of job cuts across sectors and the steep decline in consumption expenditure, domestic savings and investments.

Urging the Government to invest more on roads, new factories, and schools, he said investing about Rs 4-lakh crore in these areas and creating tangible assets would have saved the Government from going in for a Food Security Bill to feed the hungry.

The Opposition members feared a repeat of the 1991 crisis when the country had to mortgage gold as it failed to meet short-term debt obligations.

Participating in the debate, former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, “The Government has lost control over the economy. So it is better that it goes.”

Contending that the country had never seen such a “corrupt and incompetent” government, Sinha said, “Let us go to the people now. If you have courage, let us go to the people. There is only one solution (to the economic problems), go. Let people decide.”

Sinha said his party had urged the Government to carry out investment expenditure, but it increased consumption expenditure. “Then, the 2009 elections were on your mind,” he added.

Accusing the Government of “paralysis in decision making and trust deficit,” Sinha criticised the move to bring down gold purchases in the country to contain the current account deficit. Such steps had resulted in the collapse of jewellery trade and crores of people were rendered jobless, he added.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 27, 2013)
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