UPA taking country towards 'inclusive growth': Congress

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) Claiming to run the ''most successful'' coalition government of the country, the ruling Congress today stressed on taking the country towards a path of ''inclusive growth'' at a time when the country was poised for a double digit growth in none too distant future.

Initiating the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Janardhan Dwivedi and Mr Abhishek M Singhvi said that by taking together every section of the population on the path of growth, the UPA headed by Dr Manmohan Singh had distinguished itself from the past coalitions.

They contended that the government had taken several bold initiatives notwithstanding the ''routine hurdles'' that are to be surmounted by any administration. ''We have revived the talk of sarvahita (welfare of all) with priority for poor people and farmers.'' Defending the government's move of extending help to the minorities, the two leaders said they would not be needing an extra push if everyone was made equal, but they shall get all help especially those who deserve assistance, he said.

He said Rural Development had taken a quantum jump under the UPA while Education and Health Ministries topped the priority in government spending. ''We are infact running the world's biggest mid-day meal programme for 11 crore school children,'' Mr Singhvi said.

Taking note of the fall in food production, he said the government had made all out efforts to increase the production of paddy and wheat and all other food crops. Efforts were also made to increase the production and productivity in all other sectors industry, mininig, coal.

Touching on the foreign policy, he said India did not want to bend nor expected others to be servile. ''We don't fear nor want to create fear in others, this is our foriegn policy,'' he said quoting Subhashita ''Na dainyam na palayanam.'' About society losing respect towards political leadership, he said when leaders dressed in Khadi people taunt them as ''Neta chhap'' and such impressions can only be corrected through their actions in and outside Parliament.

Mr Singhvi seconded when Mr Dwivedi dwelt on the need for introspection in a non-adversarial manner because it was important to be critical of oneself. The country had fulfulled some of the wish lists like good governance, people's participation, rule of law, responsiveness, respect and tolerance.

India was the second fastest growing economy of the world after China with a growth of over eight per cent for the last four successive years. The number of students seeking greener pastures outside India from IITs and IIMs had dropped drastically to three per cent and the reverse migration had started with the Indian companies capability to recruit the entire IIT graduates in ''four hours'', Mr Dwivedi observed.

On the negative side, he said it was not a matter of pride for the country to have 25 per cent of the population Below Poverty Line. There was disparity in figures not among the states but within the state as well. This was the reason, the President had spoken of inclusive growth. Malnutrition in 30 per cent of the population was a matter that should not give comfort to a government to sit back and gloat over its achievements, he pointed out.


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