UPA has failed on economic front: Oppn

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) The BJP-led Opposition today blamed the UPA Government for the recent economic crisis and said it failed to bring down prices of essential commodities and provide succour to farmers and the common man during its rule.

The Opposition members said the global meltdown had reflected on India's development despite all the measures taken by the Government to insulate its financial system.

Initiating the debate on supplementary demands for grants (general) for 2008-09 moved by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha, BJP member Ananth Kumar alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been busy striking a nuclear deal with the US while inflation in the country increased and economic growth came down.

''The situation will worsen by March next year,'' he said, apparently keeping the next Lok Sabha elections in mind.

His speech was drowned in the din as BSP and Left members created a ruckus with Brajesh Pathak (BSP) questioning the Speakers' ruling that his complaint of an alleged threat to him by CBI officials be treated as closed, and Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) demanding to raise an issue which he was denied before the House adjourned ahead of lunch break.

Later both BSP and Left members walked out in protest.

Mr Kharabela Swain (BJP) said the farmers' loan waiver scheme and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) were total failures.

He alleged that NREGP across the country was full of corruption with money being swindled by government officials in connivance with the contractors.

This prompted Mr Chidambaram to ask whether it was true for Orissa also where BJD, an ally of the BJP, was in power.

''To an extent,'' Mr Swain retorted.

He said high inflation and high interest rates had affected industrial growth.

Mr Bhartruhari Mahatab (BJD) said the Government had failed to reduce hunger, and its performance on the human development front left much to be desired.

He said the global slowdown would affect the country's growth, and demanded that the Government had a rethink on its liberalisation policy.

Mr Ramjilal Suman (SP) said the Government should bring down the prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene with the international crude oil prices having halved over the past week. He also called for providing subsidy in a way that would actually benefit the farmers.

Prof M Ramadass (PMK) praised the Government's National Rural Health Mission and said the Indo-US nuclear deal was necessary for the country's development.


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