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Jul 19, 2013 at 12:54pm IST

PM intellectually dishonest, says BJP; India Inc seeks more reforms

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday hit back at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for saying UPA has done better than the NDA. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the Prime Minister is being intellectually dishonest by making the comparison between the country's growth during the regime of the two governments. India Incorporate too has given mixed reactions over the recent reform push by the UPA.

"The Prime Minister is being less than intellectually honest when he is comparing the NDA to UPA. It is a usual trick of intellectual dihonesy to dress up facts and figures. So, he is not talking of 5 per cent growth but of an average of 8 years," Sinha said.

ALSO SEE PM defends UPA's reforms, says will ensure that the economy rebounds

This came after the Prime Minister, addressing the ASSOCHAM meet on Friday, took a swipe at the Opposition saying its criticism of the government's way of handling the economy is distorted. He said, "Our political critics focus on the experience for one bad year, it makes for good television but is a distorted picture. The average growth rate in 8 years was 8.2 per cent, much better than the previous 8 years."

"The government at the moment is really pushing issues very hard. But we would have not landed in these crisis if these steps were taken three years back. We wouldn't have slowed down at all," said JSW steel MD Sajjan Jindal.

While, Jindal said the government's reforms are too late, Yes Bank CEO Rana Kapoor welcomed the government's reform push. "I think the steps to stabilise the currency itself is a very good move," Kapoor said.

ASSOCHAM President Rajkumar Dhoot also said the Prime Minister is pro-industry. "The PM has given a clear cut indication that he and his Cabinet are behind the industry. The industry must go and make the GDP for India," Dhoot said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed concerns over economic slowdown and volatility in foreign exchange markets but at the same time defended his government's policies saying it is committed to bringing the situation under control. Addressing the Assocham meet, Manmohan Singh said, "I know there are concerns on slowdown. Our country is going through a difficult period and the most immediate cause of worry is the recent volatility in foreign exchange markets."

Even as the economy will grow at a lower rate than the previously expected 6.5 per cent in FY2013-14, he assured that steps taken by the government will show their impact soon. "The impact of initiatives taken by the government will be felt in the second half of the current fiscal," Manmohan Singh said. "We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that economy rebounds," he added.

Manmohan Singh said that the government is committed to bringing the situation under control and that the basic fundamentals of the economy are sound and healthy. "The government is committed to bringing the current account deficit under control. Ideally India needs to bring down current account deficit to 2.5 per cent of GDP," Singh said. "The Reserve Bank of India has done its bit to stabilise market," he added.

Speaking on the steps that need to be taken to stabilise the economy, Singh said, "There is a need to push our exports, depreciation of rupee will help but it will take time. We need to reduce import of gold and demand for petroleum products."