Indian PM sees end of economic 'gloom and doom'

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the economic "gloom and doom" clouding the country in recent years has been dispelled and that he is determined to push ahead with further reforms.

In a speech on Saturday evening in Mumbai, Singh said that in 2006, 10 percent annual growth looked "eminently achievable" and "the sense of optimism was all pervading".

But he admitted that since then, Indian exports have shrunk and the fiscal deficit has gone up.

"Growth decelerated to 6.5 percent last year and may be only around six percent in the current year," he said. "This has dampened investor sentiment.

"Doubts are being raised in some quarters about the India growth story going astray," he said at a corporate function organised by the Economic Times.

Singh vowed that a raft of reforms announced in September would revive the economy and attract foreign investment, with more policy changes in the pipeline.

"We have dispelled gloom and doom, improved the climate for foreign investment (and) are working hard to restore investor confidence and the growth environment," Singh told business leaders in Mumbai, India's financial capital.

In a strongly-worded speech, Singh said that his government "bit the bullet" when introducing recent reforms, including to the retail sector that will allow global chains such as Walmart and Tesco to open branches for the first time.

The move has attracted fierce opposition, and many Indian states may still act to keep out giant supermarkets to protect small shop owners.

"Some of the steps were considered by many of our critics as politically impossible. We bit the bullet and did what we felt was the right thing to do," Singh said. "Undoubtedly, more needs to be done."

The reforms have already cost the ruling coalition its parliamentary majority with the exit of an allied party that has threatened to bring a no-confidence motion against the government when parliament reopens later this month.

The Congress-led government has suffered a difficult second term in power amid policy paralysis, worsening economic data and corruption allegations, and is looking to revive its fortunes with the next general elections due in 2014.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

  • Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones VERA Files - The Inbox
    Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones

    Text and photos by Jane Dasal, VERA Files Nasugbu, Batangas—At the break of dawn on Good Friday, Celilia Zafra donned a black dress and shrouded her face with a black cloth. Then she walked to a place called “putol na … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options