Select Page

Attacking Congress-led previous UPA government, the government today said that the UPA government will always be remembered for the largest power outage in our history, in July 2012, which left 62 crore people in darkness and put national security at risk. The Central government referred to the dark era in its White Paper tabled in Parliament.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented a ‘White Paper on the Indian Economy’ in the Lok Sabha. During her Interim Budget speech, Sitharaman had announced the government’s intention to release a white paper detailing the economic mismanagement during the UPA rule until 2014.

The white paper highlighted that darkness engulfed India even as more than 24,000 MW of generation capacity was lying idle due to a lack of fuels like coal and gas. “The entire (power) sector reached a vicious cycle of inaction and policy paralysis with surplus generation capacity and massive unutilised investments at one end while large power cuts for the consumer on the other end,” the paper stated.

The Narendra Modi government has presented a white paper in the Lok Sabha outlining “policy misadventures and scams” during the Congress-led UPA government’s 10-year tenure and the efforts made by the NDA to address them. The Finance Ministry report claims that the UPA inherited a healthy economy but turned it non-performing, while the NDA government worked to correct economic mismanagement, financial indiscipline, and corruption.

The paper also highlighted the precarious situation when new government came to power in 2014. “When our government came to power in 2014, as many as two-thirds of coal-based power plants (66 out of 100 coal plants tracked by Central Electricity Authority) had critical coal stocks, meaning less than seven days of coal stock. This uncertainty was aggravating the overall power shortage. Villages used to get electricity for about 12 hours a day. Farmers used to get for a much lesser duration, thereby not being able to irrigate their crops. The inter-regional transmission lines were also highly inadequate,” it stated.It noted that the electricity shortages under the UPA government were also repeatedly pointed out by international agencies. “In its World Development Report 2008, the Bank said, With 55 – 60 per cent of India’s irrigated land supplied by groundwater, electricity for tubewell pumps is an important input… the quality of service is poor because of erratic and limited supply and voltage fluctuations, which can result in crop losses from forgone irrigation and damaged pumping equipment.”

During July 30 and 31, 2012, India faced two major power blackouts, marking one of the most severe power crises in human history. The initial outage impacted approximately 350 million individuals, while the subsequent blackout affected a staggering 670 million people, representing roughly one-tenth of the global population. These incidents spanned across 21 out of 28 Indian states.

Congress releases 'Black Paper' highlighting Modi government's failures; here's what it says

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge released a document called the ‘Black Paper’ on Thursday, which aims to highlight the failures of the Modi government over the past 10 years. The central government had previously stated in the union budget presented on February 1 that it would release a ‘White Paper’ to compare the economic performance of the 10-year Congress-led UPA government with that of the 10-year BJP-led NDA government.

To counter the government’s White Paper, the Congress unveiled a “black paper” aimed at spotlighting what it perceives as the shortcomings of the Modi government. Allegations included a decade marked by injustices such as soaring prices, unemployment, erosion of institutions, and perceived bias against non-BJP states. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge presented a 54-page “charge sheet,” coinciding with the government’s forthcoming presentation of a ‘white paper’ in Parliament, detailing economic mismanagement pre-2014, with an intent to learn from past mistakes.

Black Paper vs White Paper: What's the difference?

The Congress party plans to counter the government’s ‘White Paper’ with a ‘Black Paper’ amid the extended Budget Session of Parliament. This move comes as the BJP-led NDA government projects a promising economic outlook ahead of the upcoming general elections. White Papers and Black Papers serve distinct roles, with the former offering objective analysis and the latter providing critical assessments.

  • Published On Feb 8, 2024 at 06:37 PM IST

Join the community of 2M+ industry professionals

Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest insights & analysis.

Download ETBFSI App

  • Get Realtime updates
  • Save your favourite articles

icon g play

icon app store

Scan to download App
bfsi barcode

Share it on social networks