Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday tabled the ‘White Paper on the Indian Economy’ in the Lok Sabha.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lays on the Table a copy of the ‘White Paper on the Indian Economy’ today, in Lok Sabha pic.twitter.com/oYFwUHtSeE
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2024
The government on Wednesday extended the Parliament session by a day to release a ‘white paper’ highlighting the growth of India’s economy from 2014 to 2024.
Here are the key takeaways from the White Paper of Modi Government:
- INFLATION: According to the document, inflation was rampant from 2009 to 2014. Specifically, during the period of Financial Year (FY) 10 to FY14, the annual inflation rate reached double digits. Moreover, on average, the economy experienced an annual inflation rate of 8.2 per cent between FY04 and FY14.
- BAD DEBTS IN BANKING SYSTEMS: “The banking crisis was one of the most important and infamous legacies of the UPA government,” the White Paper reads. According to the White Paper, the banking crisis was a significant and notorious consequence of the UPA government. When comparing the NDA and UPA governments, the document states that the Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio in Public Sector banks was 16% during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, but decreased to 7.8% afterwards. Additionally, the gross advances by public sector banks were only `6.6 lakh crore in March 2004, but increased to 39.0 lakh crore in March 2012.
- FOREIGN EXCHANGE CRUNCH: According to the White Paper, the UPA-led government stands accused of causing significant damage to India’s foreign exchange reserves. The report highlights a concerning decline in reserves from approximately $294 billion to $256 billion between the years 2011 and 2013. This decline raises alarm bells as foreign exchange reserves are crucial for a country’s economic stability, enabling it to meet international obligations, manage currency fluctuations, and ensure financial security. The White Paper’s findings suggest that the UPA-led government’s policies or actions during this period may have had adverse effects on India’s foreign exchange reserves, warranting further investigation and analysis into the matter.
- PUBLIC FINANCES: The document claims that the UPA government’s response to the well-known financial crisis of 2008 was even more detrimental than the crisis itself. One concerning aspect highlighted in the paper is the state of public finances during this period. It reveals that between fiscal years 2009 and 2014, the ratio of India’s Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was consistently at least 4.5 percent. Additionally, the document points out that the revenue deficit escalated by four times between fiscal years 2008 and 2009. These statistics shed light on the government’s mismanagement of financial resources during a critical period, suggesting that their handling of the crisis exacerbated the economic situation rather than alleviating it.
- WASTAGE OF PUBLIC RESOURCES: The White Paper has highlighted a series of scams that marred the rule of the UPA government. One of the major scandals mentioned is the non-transparent auction of public resources, where valuable assets were allegedly allocated to private entities without fair and competitive bidding processes. Additionally, the infamous 2G spectrum scam is cited, wherein it was alleged that telecom licenses were irregularly issued, causing substantial losses to the exchequer. The coal gate scam also finds mention, which revolves around the alleged misallocation of coal blocks, resulting in significant financial losses. Lastly, the Common Wealth Games (CWG) scam is mentioned, involving financial irregularities and corruption in the organization of the international sporting event. These incidents have raised concerns about transparency, accountability, and governance during the UPA government’s tenure.
The White Paper on the Indian Economy presents a critical analysis of the UPA government’s performance in various aspects of the economy, such as inflation, banking, foreign exchange, and public finances. The paper argues that the UPA government failed to manage the economy effectively and left behind a legacy of crises, deficits, and debts. The paper also contrasts the UPA government’s policies and outcomes with those of the NDA government, highlighting the latter’s achievements and reforms. The paper concludes by calling for a change in the political leadership and a new vision for the Indian economy that is based on growth, stability, and inclusiveness.