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Good and Bad Work done by Congress in India

January 28, 2014

The 21st century Indian politics seems to be divided into two distinct epochs – Before UPA and After UPA. As a yardstick to measure the performance of Indian Congress, political analysts consider all the incidents that happened after the NDA government was dethroned in 2004. For Congress, 2014 is the 10th year of being at the helm of affairs. The country is still divided in its opinion about how the party fared.  Some see a miraculous turnaround and some still see a mirage of an empowered India. To put the dialectical views into perspective, let’s have a look at the positives and negatives that Congress must own up to.

Good Work by Congress

  • Economic Security: A report launched by the UPA some time back stated that economic growth during their rule has been both ‘inclusive and widespread.’ The report added that consumption capacity has increased both in urban and rural areas, with the consumption in rural areas reportedly increasing to 3.4 per cent from mere 0.8 per cent during the NDA regime. Moreover, loan facilities to micro companies and SMEs have doubled during the last five years.
  • MNREGA: The Congress has a lot to talk about the “largest social welfare scheme of its kind in the world”.  Launched in the year 2006, this scheme has reportedly benefited a major chunk of rural household in India. Wages under MNREGA have almost doubled ever since it came into existence. Last year, it provided employment to more than 4.8 crore households
  • Food Security:  Although Congress is yet to make much headway in National Food Security Bill, it is to be noted that there has been a three-fold increase in food subsidy during the UPA tenure.
  • Pro-Poor Policies: The Congress has ensured significant increase in agriculture credit, which is commonly cited as one of the reasons for a record production of food grains in the last few years. Taking note of the farmers’ plight, the party gradually enhanced the minimum support price (MSP) for agriculture products.
  • Internal Security:  Except some sporadic cases, militancy-related incidents have witnessed a significant decline in Kashmir. The Centre and the State worked in close coordination to curb militancy. Even the cases of left-wing extremism have come down owing to the Congress’s efforts to restore good governance in Maoist-affected states.
  • Social Security: The Congress-led UPA has launched several multi-sectoral development programme and scholarship schemes for minorities. After the party came into power, it ensured that the minorities get priority sector lending so that they can start and expand small businesses.

Bad Work by Congress

  • GDP growth: According to the economic reports, India lost momentum in GDP growth under the Congress’s rule.  The average GDP growth till 2004 was 6% a year.  As of June 30, 2013, the average annual GDP growth fell to 4.4% in 2013.
  • Depreciation of rupee:  The value of rupee has nose-dived ever since the Congress started ruling in 2004. Simple statistics reveal that the variation in rupee value was between 39 and 49 per USD till 2004. It saw an unprecedented fall in the last 10 years as the value went as low as 68 per USD.Now that puts a question mark on the Congress’s economic and fiscal policies. The party’s policies didn’t evoke global confidence, which is touted as the major reason for this instability.
  • Current Account Deficit: The Congress’s performance in this sector looks dismal. When it returned to power, there was no existence of current account deficit. In fact, we had an impressive surplus of around $8 billion. Ten years later, that figure stands at (-) $80 billion. This is where the party has disappointed the nation the most.
  • External Debt: There has been a more than a three-fold rise in the country’s external debt since 2004, which reflects poorly on the UPA’s economic measures. Going by the experts, this unimpressive state of economy could be attributed to the Congress’s retrospective tax legislation and several regressive policies, especially in the last five years.

The UPA’s second tenure has been mired in scams. The ugly facts resurfaced time and again to embarrass the ruling party, forcing it to make knee-jerk reactions.

List of  Congress Scams :

  • Coal scam: Irregularities in the auctioning of the 194 coal blocks are known to most of us. The Congress stands heavily condemned by the opposition, as the scam caused a loss of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer.
  • 2G spectrum scam: This is perhaps the king of all scams that plagued UPA-II for long. To put it simply, the government was responsible for selling telecom licenses to several companies in 2008 at a price set in 2001. According to the estimates, the spectrum scam led to a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
  • CWG scam: The Congress government came under vehement attack, especially in Delhi, after the foul play was confirmed. Suresh Kalmadi and nine others were charged for cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer. This is another instance where corruption was triggered in the absence of any checks and balances.
  • Inflation: Spiraling food inflation caused much distress among common people. The Congress failed to curb a surge in the prices of onions and cereals. It is understood that government is to be squarely blamed for creating a demand and supply mismatch.
  • Leadership Deficit: This syndrome has become chronic. A common allegation against Congress is the lack of policy direction and inspiring leadership. The Opposition questions the ‘diminishing role’ of PM Manmohan Singh and his deliberate silence on hot-button issues.
  • Foreign Policy: That the Congress has failed to attain any major progress in the domain of foreign policy is underlined by the fact that ties with important nations have remained where they were ten years back. Apart from that, the ties with our immediate neighbours have gone rancorous to some extent.

Some even argue that the development of certain states during the last 10 years should not be attributed to Congress since it is not UPA but the strong heads of the states who have continued to run the growth engine. Gujarat and Maharashtra are other prominent states that have fared well in development indexes owing to the effective leadership of their chief ministers. The Congress cannot claim any significant role in that.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

Not too much of a social person.Like to be with just a handful of people, aspire to lead a healthy and happy life with a satisfying job in hand. Hate fake people and more than that I get offended with lies.Can't butter people no matter what the reason be!!

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