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Congress mastered art of spoiling accomplishments: Sitharaman in RS

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday took a dig at the Congress saying the grand old party mastered the art of ruining accomplishments of the previous government as they did while managing inflation during the 10-year UPA regime.

Replying to a short duration discussion on 'White Paper on Indian Economy' in the Rajya Sabha, she said there was mismanagement of the economy during 2004-2014 by the Congress-led UPA government.

She said the Modi-led government toiled for 10 years to bring the economy back on track, taking India from 'Fragile Five' to 5th largest economy of the world. She said that India is soon going to become the world's third largest economy.

Sitharaman said the inflation rate was below 4 per cent in the last year of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, but it remained significantly high during the 10-year UPA regime.

"Gur ko gobar karna inki mastery hai (Congress has mastery of ruining something that has been accomplished)," she said.

The finance minister attacked the Congress, saying its government did complete developments in time, but now Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally monitors progress of development projects, even with district-level officers.

Giving reasons for coming out with the White Paper now, Sitharaman said a similar exercise earlier would have impacted the confidence of institutions, investors, as well as the people.

As an elected government, she said it is imperative to inform the public and Parliament about the true picture of the economy during the UPA regime and efforts taken by the Modi government to revive the economy.

In an apparent jibe at the erstwhile National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi, the finance minister said India needs a clean and accountable governance, and not governance through extra-constitutional body.

Congress fears people who could overshadow the 'first family', she said, citing names of great leaders like B R Ambedkar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and Karpoori Thakur.

In her reply, she highlighted various measures taken by the Modi government to restore the economy back on track. She also said unemployment rate for graduates declined from 17.3 per cent in 2017 to 13.4 per cent in 2023.

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