Covid, Ukraine War ‘Setbacks’ but Govt on Track to Achieve Long-term Vision: BJP MP

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The Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have caused a “setback” to the short term goals of the NDA government but it is on track to achieve the long-term vision of economic prosperity of the country, BJP MP Shivkumar Udasi said on Wednesday.

Participating in the discussion in Lok Sabha on the demands for grants of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry 2022-23, Udasi also slammed the previous Congress governments, alleging that business was “hamstrung” by many controls impose in the name of socialism.

“The underlying theory post-independence was that the markets could not be trusted to produce good social outcomes, so the government in its wisdom decided where the country’s scarce resources should be deployed and what exactly should be produced, in what location, and by whom,” the MP from Karnataka’s Haveri said. “The business was hamstrung by many controls impose in the name of socialism. Many were worried that imperial foreign domination would return in the guise of economic domination through trade and investment,” Udasi said.

The number of poor people went on increasing in the post-independence era as the policies of the Congress in the name of poor, ended up impoverishing the people further, he said. “The UPA government was equally disastrous for commerce and trade. It was infected with corruption and policy paralysis in decision making. The achievement of the UPA government was to collapse the pubic private partnership model, huge bank losses and loss of investment projects for the country,” he alleged.

Udasi asserted that the Narendra Modi government’s commitment to deep economic reforms is a major reason that makes the country an attractive destination for investment. “We are committed to being a trusted partner in global supply chain system. Our government has made avenues for FTAs with many countries. There was a time when India was known for ‘licence raj’, today we have promoted ease of doing business and our ranking has significantly improved from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2020,” he said.

He also hailed the government’s flagship ‘Make in india’ programme as a “great success”. “The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have also caused a setback in the short-term goals of our government but we are on track to achieve the long- term vision of economic prosperity of our country,” Udasi said.

“What used to be a poor country now has the fifth largest GDP in the world. India is considered one of the most important players in the global economic landscape,” he said. Participating in the discussion, TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay flagged the issue of the “bad situation” of public sector undertakings in the country and slammed the government for it.

“Government-led industries are in a very bad situation. Our industries, which are public sector undertakings, are divided into Maharatnas, Navratnas, Ratnas and Miniratnas,” he said. This government is not hesitating to sell Navratnas or Maharatnas as well as profit-making public sector units, the TMC MP said. “Without profit-making PSUs what industries do we have? Industries are dominated by the private parties…There are about 250 PSUs and except a few all are facing a loss,” Bandopadhyay said.

“Without industries we cannot create new job opportunities. Unemployment cannot be removed unless big and medium scale industries are set up in the country,” he argued, adding that unemployment is “sky rocketing”. Initiating the debate, the Congress’s Anto Antony flagged the issue of concern in Kerala over the falling prices of natural rubber. “The drastic crash in the price of natural rubber coupled with the rising cost of production and declining yield from the progressively aging rubber holdings has put the rubber plantation sector in the country into a major crisis,” he said.

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