New Delhi, July 19 (ANI): Defending the UPA Government's handling of the economy, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday hit out at the opposition, saying 'our political critics focus on the experience of one bad year and added that this makes for good television but it is a very distorted picture.
Addressing the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Dr. Singh said: "Let me address the issue of UPA Government's performance. Our political critics focus on the experience of one bad year. This makes for good television but it is a very distorted picture."
Dr. Singh said his government's record was far better than the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime in terms of growth and other economic indicators.
"The average growth rate in the eight years of the UPA from 2004-05 to 2012-13 was 8.2 percent per annum. This is much better than the 5.7 percent reached in the previous eight years," he pointed out.
Dr. Singh further said: " I have already mentioned that agriculture did much better in the Eleventh Plan than in the Tenth Plan. This is reflected in real per capita rural consumption rising at 2.9 percent per year between 2004-05 and 2011-12 compared with only one percent between 1993-94 and 2004-05."
"Rural real wages have also risen much faster (6.8 percent per year in the 11th Plan as compared to an average of 1.1 percent per year in the ten years preceding it)," he added.
Dr. Singh further said the percentage of population below the poverty line declined at 0.75 percentage points per year before our government came to office in 2004-05. It has fallen more than 2 percentage points per year between 2004-05 and 2011-12.
"I think this is a record that any government can be proud of. I agree we have had one bad year. I assure you we will get out of it," he added. (ANI)