“I challenge any political party to point to any period of any government anywhere in India, which has delivered such a record of growth and development,” the finance minister said in his speech.
“When did we achieve the best growth rate? It was 9.6% in 2006-07. When did we achieve the best savings rate? It was 36.8% in 2007-08. When did we achieve the best investment rate? It was 38.1% in 2007-08. When did we add a huge amount of money to our reserves? It was $92 billion in 2007-08. No other government, no other period has witnessed these impressive developments,” he said.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) — total value of all goods and services produced in the country — grew at an annual average of 7.6% during the period, making it the second-fastest growing economy in the world behind China.
“When I talk about growth, please understand that I talk about growth that translates into inclusive development, and into social justice,” Chidambaram said as he presented data from power generation to bank credit to GDP growth, from foodgrains production to public expenditure on health in an economic report card of sorts of the UPA-decade. (see graphic).
“In the last ten years, our governments, the two governments guided by Sonia Gandhi and led by Manmohan Singh, have delivered substantially on our promise of growth, inclusive development and social justice. That is a record that we must carry to every corner of our country,” he said.