Home Minsiter P Chidambaram on Wednesday asserted that India was facing a slowdown and not recession.
"India and China are the two countries which have showed growth," he said in Ahmedabad. "India has high positive growth and it is faced not with recession but a slowdown," he added.
Talking about the growth story of India during the UPA regime, Chidambaram said the country grew by average 8.5 per cent in last five years, while the growth rate was 5.8 per cent during the NDA rule.
"India's growth rate had touched 9 per cent mark, while it never reached that level during NDA regime," he stated, adding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was far superior to BJP's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani in handling such turbulent times.
According to him, efficient managerial skills are required for tackling the challenges of slowdown, which his government has. He also made it clear that India did not need growth oriented towards the rich. "Growth is required for poor," Chidambaram said.
Slamming opposition BJP, Chidambaram said that BJP's manifesto did not talk about the industrial development. "There is not a single word about the growth of industry or corporate world. India cannot become a developed country without the growth of its corporate houses or industry," he said, adding, "Congress manifesto clearly speaks about the steps to improve the growth of both public and private sector".
He further said: "high growth means more spending on development and that is what we have done in past five years". Providing data to substantiate his statement, he said that UPA goverment spent Rs 12,643 crore (Rs 126.43 billion) for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, while the spending during NDA rule was Rs 2,730 crore (Rs 27.30 billion). UPA government also pumped in Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) for National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, which was started by UPA. "We take pride that we have delivered," he said.