The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP sees economy on global fast track

Raipur, July 18: The BJP projected a 7 per cent growth rate for the Indian economy and attributed the acceleration to the “stability in polity, stability in governance and stability in policy provided by the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.

The economic resolution, passed by the national executive today, noted with a “sense of satisfaction” that India was on its way to becoming one of the largest economies in the world. The feel-good resolution maintained: “In the year 2003, it is competing for the third place in terms of GDP in purchasing power parity terms. It is amongst the two fastest growing economies in the world after China.”

The resolution — whose draft was proposed to be moved by Arun Jaitley and seconded by Arun Shourie — observed that despite the backdrop of global slowdown and the worst drought in 20 years in 2002-03, the Indian economy “looks poised towards an accelerated rate of growth close to 7 per cent”.

The resolution attributed the positive outlook to several factors: “focused and purposeful” reforms, “revolutionary” structural changes, a competitive economy and an agriculture-surplus economy.

It stated: “In agriculture, we are today an economy of surpluses. India is the largest producer of milk in the world. Last year, we were the second largest exporter of rice in the world.”

Keeping in mind the interests of one of India’s most vital political sectors — farmers — the resolution spoke of the government’s “achievements” in rural road connectivity, kisan credit cards and crop insurance.

Elaborating on the service sector, it said: “The talent and innovativeness of Indians — in particular of our youth — have made a mark across the world.” They left an imprint on information technology and biotechnology, it added. “For the first time in history, developed countries are apprehensive of losing jobs to India. Today, services contribute 50 per cent of the GDP.”

The resolution underlined the emphasis placed by the NDA government on the infrastructure sector which, it claimed, was neglected in the four decades after Independence.

“The National Highway scheme is integrating the whole nation. The rural road connectivity links villages to the mainstream. Our sea ports are more efficient with higher productivity and capacity than ever before,” it said.

It was equally sanguine about the economy’s competitiveness and used the point to answer the Congress’ allegation, levelled in its Shimla conclave, about growing unemployment. “The accelerated growth in the economy coupled with infrastructure creation has led to job creation at a mass level. The figures of job creation for the past three years from 2000 to 2003 demonstrate creation of 73.3 lakh, 78.6 lakh, and 82.7 lakh jobs, respectively.”

Later, Jaitley told newspersons the figures were incorporated in the amended resolution as members insisted the claims should be properly substantiated so as not to appear hollow.

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