Inflation will be tamed: PM
INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, March 5: India will return to a high growth of over 9 percent and may eventually emerge as the fastest growing economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday. He admitted price rise remains a cause for worry but said all steps are being taken to combat it.
“I will be the last one to deny that the behaviour of food prices in the last one year is something which does not worry us,” the prime minister told the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament.
“The house has my assurance that if any practical method can further bring relief to our people, our government will always be sensitive to the concerns of the members,” he said during his reply to a debate on the motion of thanks to president’s address.
“To put matters in perspective, it is important to recognize that in 2009 we have had one of the most severe droughts in recent history -- the worst since 1972,” said the prime minister.
“As a result, production of foodgrain, pulses and oilseeds has been adversely affected. Production of sugarcane has also gone down. This was preceded by the economic slowdown, to respond to which the government had to stimulate demand.”
The remarks infuriated some of the opposition lawmakers who started shouting and briefly made the address inaudible. This prompted Speaker Meira Kumar to make pleas for peace after a brief commotion.
He also addressed the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, later where he explained the causes for the current prise rise, with the thrust of his comments little changed from that in the Lok Sabha.
Resuming his address in the lower house after the interruptions, the prime minister said while the federal government took several steps to tame prices such as release of more grain, oil, pulses and sugar, the states also needed to take action against hoarders.
“We have been able to procure 23 million tonnes of rice this year, not very different from what we procured last year. There should be no panic on the food situation front considering the comfortable level of food stocks available with the government.”
According to the prime minister, the Indian economy grew at 6.7 percent last fiscal and will end this fiscal at around 7.5 percent despite the twin impact of global financial crisis since in December 2008 and the subsequently the failure of monsoon in 2009.
“In the next fiscal year, I am confident of achieving a growth rate of 8 percent or more and the year thereafter, we will be able to return the economy over 9 percent growth.”
He said if the government manages the economy well, creates the necessary social and physical infrastructure, improves governance and reduces the scope for corruption, there would be no barrier to double-digit growth.
“This is the vision that our government is working to realize.”
Going a step further, he told the Rajya Sabha that a double-digit economic expansion was, indeed, within India’s grasp. “If we manage well, becoming the fastest-growing economy is within reach.”
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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