New Delhi: Celebrating its eighth year, the UPA government on Tuesday sought to smash the perception of policy paralysis by saying that India is the world's second fastest growing economy even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that there are "uncertainties" and more needed to be done.

While Singh spoke of "difficult decisions" and "determined measures" to boost investment, UPA Sonia Gandhi observed that the mandate in the next polls will depend on the work done and not promises.

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A touch of introspection on the part of two leaders was evident at a celebration to mark the third anniversary of UPA-II at the Prime Minister's residence where the highlight was the presence of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav on the podium along with senior ministers and UPA constituent leaders.

Adding to the celebratory occasion, Yadav declared support to UPA's Presidential candidate on the condition that he or she should not be a bureaucrat or non-political personality.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi kept away from the function though their party representatives were present.

Releasing 'The Report to the People' along with Gandhi, Singh said, "Difficult decisions have to be taken on both spending and revenue mobilisation. Both the Centre and states have to be fiscally responsible. We also have to remove implementation bottlenecks that are preventing large projects from getting off the ground."

He said, "Determined measures are needed to boost the climate for industrial investment, both domestic and foreign".

Despite "real achievements" of the last eight years, "there are uncertainties and a large unfinished agenda before us", he said.

Gandhi reminded the government that the result of the next Lok Sabha elections will depend on the "nature of work done by us" and not the promises.

Asserting that India has been advancing on the growth map since UPA took charge, she said, "We are aware that only two years are left when we will be seeking a new mandate from the people."

With government coming under attack on various scams, Singh acknowledged that there is "frustration" among people over corruption and said the government was working sincerely to address it through legislative and administrative measures.

"We are trying to ensure exemplary punishment to the guilty while ensuring that public servants feel secure in taking bonafide decisions in national interest," the Prime Minister said.

Singh said that despite an adverse international environment, the Indian economy grew at about 7 percent in 2011-12, which is amongst the highest in the world.

"Sustained high rates of growth during the UPA government's tenure have enabled us to pursue our agenda of inclusive and equitable growth," he said.

Turning to economic situation, Singh said difficult decisions have to be taken on both spending and revenue mobilisation as he underlined the need for both the Centre and states has to be "fiscally responsible".

However, when asked later to specify the tough decisions, Singh told reporters, "let us wait. Sometimes somethings will be obvious".

On the perception of policy paralysis, he said, "this can be corrected by reality. Misconceived perceptions can be corrected."

The Congress President noted that the UPA had faced "several difficulties", "several storms" in the Parliament as well as outside it over the last one year.

"But we have always tried to present a collective resolve and goal. We have stood firmly by the priorities of our government," she said, adding

"we have been fully aware of the expectations of the country and the task they have given us."

Referring to the "notion" that there are several challenges for India's development, Gandhi said, "Definitely it is a tough period for all the countries and we are not an exception. But there is no scope for disappointment."

Talking about the next elections two years away, she said it was "a moment when we have to repeat our commitment and promise for ensuring betterment of the people."

At the same time, she hit out at the opposition, saying it speaks in harsh tone and often makes "irresponsible" allegations. "But we have always kept our focus on ethics, sobreity and dignity."

WORK AND NOT PROMISES WILL PAY

Meanwhile, Gandhi acknowledged that the ruling alliance can earn another mandate only on the basis of its actions in coming two years and not promises.

Speaking to allies, she accused the Opposition of being aggressive and making irresponsible statements.

"We are aware that only two years are left when we will be seeking a new mandate from the people. We are fully aware that the result of that will not depend on our promises but on the nature of work done by us," Gandhi said in her brief address.

She said since UPA took charge of the government, India has been advancing on the growth map in a sustained manner because of which it has been able to provide money for projects of social and rural development.

"Because of this the Centre has been able to give that kind of financial assistance to the state government which was never seen earlier," Gandhi said, adding that the government has to sustain the momentum of this development.

WILL BRING LOKPAL: PM

Acknowledging public frustration and anger on corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was working sincerely to address the issue through both legislative and administrative measures.

"We know there is public frustration and anger on the issue of corruption," he said.

Singh's remarks come a day after the much-talked about Lokpal Bill was referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha for further examination and to iron out differences among political parties on the anti-graft legislation.

"I wish to assure our people that we are working sincerely to address this issue through both legislative and administrative measures," he said.

Singh said legislation was before Parliament to establish a Lokpal, ensure time-bound delivery of public goods and services and judicial accountability.

"We are trying to ensure exemplary punishment to the guilty while also ensuring that public servants feel secure in taking bona fide decisions that are in the national interest," he said.

PRICE STABILITY HIGH ON AGENDA

Concerned over high inflation, the UPA's report card said achieving price stability will remain high on the agenda of the government.

"Price stability remains high on the agenda" said the UPA government's report card on completion of three years in office.

It attributed higher inflation to mainly increase in global commodities as well as crude prices. The retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to 10.36 percent in April, up from 9.38 percent a month ago.

The report card talked about various steps taken by the UPA government to contain price rise. These include selective ban on exports and futures trading in food grains, zero import duty on select food items and release of higher quota of non-levy sugar.

According to the report, India is now the second fastest growing large economy with 6.9 percent growth.

(Agencies)

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