Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today claimed credit for liberalising the FDI regime in the multi-brand retail sector, controlling inflation, working on fiscal consolidation and giving a boost to manufacturing.
He, however, refrained from making any remarks about stalled legislations including Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Direct Taxes Code (DTC) in the speech he delivered on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the UPA-II government.
GST was to be implemented from April 1, 2010, but lack of consensus between states and the Centre has stalled the process so far. Similarly, DTC, introduced in 2009, is still pending passage in Parliament. The legislations are touted as major tax reforms to make India an attractive investment destination.
Indicating a turnaround in the current fiscal, the Prime Minister said that the economic growth is expected to recover in 2013-14 with the slew of reforms the government has undertaken. Expecting growth to be over 6 per cent in 2013-14, he said that the government has undertaken 42 reforms in financing, banking, industry, infrastructure and taxation and “we are confident that growth in 2013-14 will be better than 2012-13 and could exceed 6 per cent. This will set the stage for trying to achieve the Twelfth Plan target of 8 per cent growth for the five year period”.
Attributing the decline in economic growth - estimated to be 5 per cent in 2012-13 - to global phenomenon, he said the “slowdown is temporary”.
He said that the headline inflation has moderated to below 6 per cent before March 2013 and the government is taking several measures including keeping the issue price for wheat and rice unchanged and absorbing a significant part of LPG, kerosene and diesel cost, to keep the price level in check.
He added, “other measures include selective ban on export and futures trading, permitting imports when necessary and distribution of pulses through PDS.”