Manmohan Singh sees growth falling below 7 percent

April 13th, 2009 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday admitted the economic growth India experienced during 2008-2009 has slowed down, and that it was likely to be a little less than 7 percent now.
“It (the slowdown) is a matter of concern, but our situation is very different from the deep recession being experienced elsewhere, like in the US, where several companies closed down,” Manmohan Singh told a news conference here.

He said during the past four years, the economy has done well but the situation was different this year.

“Over the last five years our economy has grown at an average rate of about 8.6 percent per annum, a growth rate unprecedented in the history of India. By contrast, the average growth rate in the NDA (the previous National Democratic Alliance government) period was only 5.8 percent,” he said.

The prime minister said the growth rate during the last five years has not only been more robust, but it has also been much more inclusive.

“This is because of our many policies aimed at achieving faster growth. We have also launched a series of policy initiatives aimed at reversing the neglect of agriculture and promoting the welfare of the ‘aam aadmi’ (common man). We also unleashed a massive public effort at improving education and health facilities, especially in rural areas.”

Manmohan Singh said the Congress party symbolised development. “We have improved and turned around the railways, given better highways, state roads, and constructed new airports or modernised existing ones.”

He, however, admitted “more needs to be done”, saying: “I pray that when the next Congress government takes power, it will work towards developmental activities with renewed vigour.”

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