New Delhi: Attacking the UPA government for "corruption cases and policy paralysis" under its rule, BJP on Wednesday said the investment atmosphere in the country has changed from that of enthusiasm to sense of cynicism.

Speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said there was a "credibility crisis" in the government and criticised the slow growth in the power, telecom and the highways sectors.

He said there were "dual power centres" in the UPA government and asked the Prime Minister to "assert" himself more for running the government. "When UPA came to power nine years ago, there was a buzz of excitement about India. The NDA had left power with 8 percent growth rate and now, we may have a less than 5 per cent growth rate. The atmosphere has changed from that of enthusiasm to sense of cynicism about India," he said.

Jaitley said the UPA should also introspect about its governance model which cannot function properly in a democratic set up. "In any democracy, in policy making, in governance, the last word should be of that of the Prime Minister. The UPA is not following this governance model... There is a leadership crisis and there is crisis of credibility. The leadership crisis is obvious as dual power centres cannot function in a democracy," he said.

The BJP leader said the Prime Minister and his cabinet have the collective responsibility of running the nation and there cannot be an advisory council over it whose decisions are bound to be followed by the ministries of the Government. "This weakens the government and this impacts its functioning," he said.

He said the number of corruption charges against the government in the last three-four years have raised question marks over its credibility and also changed the way India is looked upon in the world.

On the motion moved by Renuka Chowdhary (Cong), Jaitley said, "When you are in government, you create your own propaganda and you yourself start buying it. We also faced this problem. You think everyone has a mobile phone in their hands and they are happy." "I regret that I cannot be in agreement with the proposal moved by Renuka Chowdhary," he said.

Commenting on the investment atmosphere, Jaitley said not only foreigners but Indians are also now feeling that "India is not a place to invest. If we do not reverse this process, we will be left behind in the fight against poverty." He said there was a "slow down" in power, highways and telecom sectors, which were the success stories of the NDA government and the liberalisation policies adopted in 1990s.

"The power sector has suffered because of corruption in allocation of coal mines. Why the National Highway Development programme has slowed down," the BJP leader asked. Jaitley said the policies of the NDA government led the tele-density in the country to grow from 0.8 percent to 70 percent but today the situation is such that "no one is willing to buy spectrum".

He said the Prime Minister should "assert" himself more as projects worth Rs seven lakh crore are "tangled" in controversies between different ministries. On the terming of direct cash transfer scheme as a game changer by Chowdhary, the Leader of Opposition said it was good as money would be provided directly to the needy.

He, however, questioned the allocation of only Rs 5,600 crore for the 26 projects covered under the scheme saying nothing much was done in this budget by the Government. Attacking the Finance Minister, Jaitley said the Government wants to bring in financial discipline through its budget in which Rs 93,000 crore have been cut for social sector schemes.

(Agencies)

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