With economic growth at the lowest level in a decade,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hoped the slow pace will not last long as the government is working hard to remedy the situation.
“I believe that this phase of slow growth in India will not last long… The average rate of economic growth that we have attained in the last nine years shows what we are capable of. However,economic growth has slowed down at present and we are working hard to remedy the situation,” Singh said in his address to the nation on the occasion of the 67th Independence Day.
In the last nine years,the economy has grown at an annual average rate of 7.9 per cent. “This pace of development is the highest in any decade so far,” he said.
Independence Day: Full text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech
After growing at over 8 per cent for two consecutive years,the economic growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in 2011-12 and further to decade’s low rate of 5 per cent last year on account of poor performance of farm,manufacturing and mining sectors.
Global economic slowdown
India is not the only country facing economic slowdown,Singh said,adding world over there has been a slump in export markets and growth in developing countries have been affected.
“It is not only our country that is facing economic difficulties. The last year has been difficult for the world economy as a whole. Major European nations are experiencing a slowdown these days,” he added.
The government expects the economy to grow around 6 per cent in the current fiscal. It has been taking measures to increase investments,especially attracting foreign funds,to push growth.
“The average rate of economic growth that we have attained in the last 9 years shows what we are capable of,” Singh said.
The average rate of growth of India was 8.4 per cent between 2004-09 fiscal and 7.3 per cent in the next four years.
The Prime Minister said rapid economic growth is an imperative as without it the country cannot possibly achieve targets of removal of poverty,provision of good quality education and health services and creation of new employment opportunities.
“In the coming months,we will see visible results of these efforts to increase investment. Our growth will accelerate,new employment opportunities will be generated and there will be improvements in the infrastructure sector,” Singh said.
In order to accord fast track clearances to large infrastructure projects,the government had in January set up a Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI),headed by the Prime Minister.
“We will start work on a number of new infrastructure projects in the coming months. This includes 2 new airports,8 new airports,new industrial corridors and rail projects,” he said.
He further said inadequate supply of coal had become a major problem affecting our efforts for increasing electricity generation. “This has been resolved to a large extent”.
Singh said without rapid agriculture growth it would not be possible to make the villages prosperous.
“We have constantly endeavoured to increase production and ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce,” the Prime Minister added.
In the last 9 years,support prices for various crops have been enhanced as never before,Singh said adding that many states which faced shortages of food grains earlier are now producing more than what they require.
(With PTI inputs)