PM hints at less than 7 pc growth in tough yr ahead

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hinted that the growth rate in 2009-10 would be less than 7 per cent and warned that the next fiscal...

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: January 4, 2009 2:05 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hinted that the growth rate in 2009-10 would be less than 7 per cent and warned that the next fiscal would be a more difficult one,but exuded confidence that the stimulus packages announced by his government would stem the adverse effects of the global economic slowdown.

“We are facing a new challenge due to the global meltdown. The next fiscal could be more difficult,” Singh said a day after the announcement of the second stimulus package by the government. However,the Prime Minister reasoned that despite the global economic slowdown,India would achieve a growth rate of close to 7 per cent this fiscal. Singh,who was in Shillong to inaugurate the 96th Indian Science Congress,said,“The global economic slowdown is a challenge before the country. The world is affected by economic slowdown. We are also affected by the slowdown as the world economy is interlinked.” Stating that the exports from the country were also being affected by the slowdown,Singh said,“We need to minimise the impact. New packages have been announced,which will help us in stemming the adverse effects of the slowdown.”

He asked the Indian industry to invest more in research and development and boost demand for science and technology graduates and researchers. “Look at the role played by public investment in nuclear energy,space and defence-related industry in creating the demand for science and technology graduates. We need a wave of such investments from the private sector,so that young people are encouraged to seek a career in science,” he said and pointed out “demand-side stimulus must come from institutions and industry”.

“Several schemes and programmes based on a public-private partnership have been launched. We are encouraging partnership programmes with the corporate sector to promote privately- funded research. I am happy to learn that NASSCOM and FICCI have been engaged in this effort,” said Singh. Singh also assured to double the investment in science from the present one per cent of the national income to two per cent.

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