No option but to bite subsidy bullet, says Manmohan (Second Lead)March 16th, 2012 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Backing the budget proposal for cutting subsidies to two percent of the GDP, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday that the government will have to “bite the bullet when the time comes” and stressed on faster, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Alluding to the subsidy cuts announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the budget for 2012-13, Manmohan Singh said: “When the time comes, we have to bite the bullet on controlling subsidies.”
“There is no other way to reduce subsidies,” Manmohan Singh said in an interview to state broadcaster Doordarshan.
The government will need to adjust prices of petroleum products to bring down subsidies, he said, indicating some hard decisions in the future.
When asked whether allies like the Trinamool were backing economic reforms, the prime minister said: “When time comes for taking tough decisions, we hope we will be able to take all our allies on board.”
Lauding the budget, Manmohan Singh said the finance minister had done a good job of tackling inflation and at the same time accelerating growth.
Stressing on the need for sensible decisions, he said: “Protecting growth rate, which is better than most of the countries, has been the biggest achievement of the UPA-II government in the last three years.”
“We were able to protect the growth rate of our economy much better than other economies.”
“We are in the league of frontrunners in the growth momentum,” the prime minister said while stressing on “faster, sustainable and inclusive growth”.
When asked about the challenges faced by the government in bringing the economy back on track, he said: “The government will have to take some tough decisions to keep the economy afloat and bring it back on the eight-nine percent growth trajectory.”
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