New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday presented the report card of UPA-II as the government completed its third year in power. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister conceded that the government needs to do better, adding that he welcomes a constructive debate.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released the annual report of his United Progressive Alliance government at his 7 Race Course Road residence in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party leaders and allies.
Also present was Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose Samajwadi Party extends outside support to the UPA. But Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee and DMK chief M Karunanidhi sent only representatives.
Mentioning the achievement of the government in the last three years, the Prime Minister asserted that poverty had declined at twice the rate than that before the tenure of the UPA government.
He further said that despite an adverse economic environment, India continued to be the second fastest growing economy at the rate of 7 per cent.
Presenting the performance report, Singh also said, "The rural wages have increased. Farmers have been given handsome prices for their crops. This year there was record foodgrain production crossing 250 million tones."
Despite mentioning that the internal security had been satisfactory, the Prime Minister conceded that Naxalism continued to be a major problem, and that the government "seeks the cooperation of the state government".
Even as he mentioned the achievements of UPA-II, Singh said, "We have a large unfinished agenda before us, we will attend to this task firmly."
"I pledge that the UPA government will work with renewed determination to pursue national tasks," said the Prime Minister, adding that the government was working on checking corruption, against which there was "public frustration and anger".
Later, addressing the gathering, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that the government had in the last one year faced a lot of difficulties both inside as well as outside Parliament.
She, however, added that the government had been firm on the priorities and had been run with determination.
"The schemes that we started during UPA-I were strengthened further during UPA-II," said Sonia.
Referring to the achievements of the government in the current tenure, the UPA chairperson said that more loans were given to the farmers and the secular fabric of the nation was upheld.
She also hit out at the opposition parties, saying, "Our opponents are targeting us, and many times level baseless allegations against us, but we have shown restraint."
"The Central government has given financial assistance to states much more than given during previous governments," said the chairperson.
In an apparent message to the government to brace up for the 2014 general elections, the UPA chairperson said that "only two years are left for fresh mandate, all depends on how we have worked".
"We need to go for the elections in next two years. We will be judged by our work not promises."