Facing accusations of policy paralysis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday admitted that growth rate had slowed down because clearances were not granted to infrastructure projects for the fear of Comptroller and Auditor General and Central Vigilance Commission.
He asked the people to judge the record of his government while closely scrutinising that of opposition governments.
Addressing the AICC session here, he rued that his government was not getting the "credit it deserves" even though the country has seen the average growth of 7.9 per cent over the last nine years despite two bouts of global recession.
With the upcoming Lok Sabha polls apparently in his mind, Singh said the people should compare his government's performance while "closely scrutinising" the record and claims of others, particularly in the context of inclusiveness, an apparent reference to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The prime minister said that the recent election results were disappointing, but stressed there was no reason for despair as the party could still win the Lok Sabha polls with an effective strategy under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
"We agree that there are certain domestic reasons responsible for the slowdown in our growth rate. Infrastructure projects do not get expeditious clearances. Bureaucrats are hesitant to take decisions fearing that CVC and CAG will raise questions over their decisions," he said.
He was apparently referring to the questions raised by CAG over various decisions including in coal blocks allocation and 2G spectrum.
Singh asserted that his government was taking steps to remove such "obstacles" as he cited that the projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore had been cleared by the Cabinet. "It will take some time for our efforts to bear fruit."
Talking about efforts to deal with corruption, he said these issues are being dealt with as per law, although his government has followed the earlier policies in the allocation of coal blocks and 2G spectrum.
"Now we have changed the system completely. Now the allocation of 2G spectrum and coal blocks is being done only through auction. In future, there is no scope of corruption in these areas," he said.