New Delhi: Expressing confidence that growth will bounce back to 7-8 per cent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that opposition should be more objective in assessing his government. Again taking on the opposition, an acerbic Manmohan Singh also said that "men of envy" disparage everything.
"I agree to Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley saying that (the) country needs a growth of 7-8 per cent to get rid of poverty. I would like to remind this house that this is precisely the intention of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government," Manmohan Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.
Replying to the motion of thanks on the president's address, the prime minister attacked the opposition for its frequent criticism of the government.
"When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad," Manmohan Singh said.
Referring to Jaitley as a wise and discerning person, Manmohan Singh said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader should be more objective in assessing the performance of the UPA government.
"If the leader of opposition (and) colleagues reflect calmly, they will conclude that the path we have chosen is the right path," he said.
He said the UPA record speaks for itself.
The house adopted the motion of thanks to the president's address. The motion had been adopted by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Manmohan Singh, who tore into the BJP with his aggressive reply to the debate on the president's address in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, continued in a similar vein Friday.
Seeking to demolish Jaitley's claim that the UPA had squandered away the legacy of high GDP growth rate inherited from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, he gave year-wise GDP data of the years of NDA and UPA rule.
Growth rate, he said, had touched 8.1 per cent only in the last fiscal year of the NDA rule. But growth rate during four of nine years of the UPA government had exceeded nine percent and could fall to five per cent only in the current fiscal.
"Our expectation is that in two-three years it will again bounce back to growth rate of 7-8 per cent," he said.
Rebutting the BJP's criticism about slow pace of construction of national highways, he said the problems concern issues that crop up while spending large sums of money.
"These are problems of growing up," he said.
Referring to terrorism, he said there were no two points of view that "we should not make any compromise with terrorism".
Referring to the National Counter Terrorism Centre, he said the central government would work with states to give substance to the proposal.
Jaitley, who spoke briefly after the debate, said the prime minister had chosen not to reply on accusations of corruption against the UPA government.