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PM promises to do more for economy

Posted on Dec 15, 02:38PM | IBNS

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said his government will do its best to allay and alter the difficult economic situation and take back the growth to 8-9 percent.

"Steps we have taken recently are only the beginning of a process to revive our economy and take it back to its trend growth rate of 8-9pc ," said the Prime Minister at the Annual General Meeting of industry body FICCI.

"The private sector should also play a more active role in the areas of R and D, education and skill development, health and rural development."

He also defended his recent tough economic decisions.

"I am afraid that those who oppose these moves are either ignorant of global realities or are constrained by out-dated ideologies.
Some of the decisions we have taken were politically difficult and the naysayers and the cynics have tried to halt us in our tracks," he said.

"Our govt. has taken a series of measures aimed at reviving investor sentiment, controlling the fiscal deficit and improving infrastructure," he said.

"We are today seized of the need to step up the investment and savings rates. Even as we make our growth process inclusive, we cannot lower our guard in pursuing policies that restore growth momentum to the economy," he said.

He said the Direct Cash Transfer was launched to transfer government benefits directly to the bank accounts of individual. beneficiaries.

The PM said despite the challenges "we must recognize that poverty has declined at a pace never seen in the past 200 years."

"A more prosperous and better connected populace is a source of larger demand and markets for goods and services," he said.

The PM said broadening the social base of development not only improves well-being but also widens the home market for business.

"Years of high growth enabled us to generate resources that have been deployed to improve the well-being of our people. More need to be done. The nation can ill afford disparities in basic facilities such as health, education, drinking water, electricity, and even banking," he said.

The PM said he is pained when "I see the level of social and regional inequalities that continue to exist."

"I want to underline the importance of accelerating economic growth and making the growth process socially and regionally more inclusive," he said.

"Our Government has acted to reverse the cycle of negative expectations, and stimulate investment," the PM claimed.