Sonia: Cong allocated more than NDA

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Karaikudi, Tamilnadu Apr 5 (UNI) Hitting out at the opposition for criticising the UPA government's economic politicies, AICC President Sonia Gandhi today said the economic growth rate achieved by the UPA government helped it to allocate more money for poverty alleviation programmes, education and health sectors.

Addressing a mammoth farmers' rally, here this evening Ms Gandhi said all the policy initiatives of the UPA government were aimed at bringing the poor people to the main stream of economic, political and other progressive activities. ''Only by doing so we can establish a just, equal and prosperous society. No other party has been so deeply committed to eradicate povery'', she claimed.

If the UPA government could increase fivefold the allocation by the previous NDA government led by BJP, for the education sector and more than twice for the health sector, it was only because the economic growth was 8.8 per cent. The UPA government allocated Rs.34,400 crore for the education sector in 2008-09, compared to Rs 7024 crore allocated By the NDA government. Similarly, health sector got Rs 16534 crore in 2008-09 compared to Rs 6900 crore allocatedby the NDA government, she claimed.

She said another achievement of the UPA government was providing insurance cover to 30 lakh SHGs. Besides, Medical insurance scheme were also introduced for them. She also made a special mention about 50 per cent hike in the wages of anganvadi workers, benefiting 18 lakh.

Stating that the Congress was not worried about the criticism of the party's farm loan waiver scheme, she said ''We will continue to work for the lot of farmers''.

''The total waiver of loans for small and marginal farmers will be implemented before June 30'', she said and asked the farmers to spike the critics of the schemes.

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