Prime Minister promises more reforms in coming months
New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) Claiming that his government has put the country on a high growth momentum, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today promised to roll out more reforms in the next few months.
Addressing a press conference, the third as Prime Minister,
Manmohan Singh blamed global commodity and energy prices for persistently high inflation, a factor cited for the drubbing of the Congress in the recently concluded assembly elections.
Manmohan Singh stressed his government would continue to push economic reforms, create a favourable environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) and work harder to generate more employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector.
"So long as we are in power, we will continue to push for reforms...Our government attaches highest priority to reforms...We will continue to implement our policies with vigour and commitment, aiming to revive growth, promote enterprise, generate employment, eliminate poverty," Manmohan Singh said.
Observing that the worry about inflation is legitimate, Singh said the government had taken enough measures to protect the interests of the weaker sections of society.
"We will be honest enough to say that it could be the price rise (that) was a factor in people turning against the Congress party...international commodity prices were rising, international energy prices were rising and these were the factors. It made it difficult for us to control prices as effectively as we could have done," Manmohan Singh said.
While wholesale inflation rose to 7.52 per cent in November, prices based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 11.24 per cent during the month.
Rising prices were cited as one of the reasons for the defeat of the Congress party in the recent assembly elections.
The party lost power in Delhi and Rajasthan and performed badly in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Manmohan Singh said real wages in rural areas have increased faster than before and per-capita consumption in both rural and urban areas has increased significantly.
He hoped the Food Security Act, which entitles two-thirds of the population to receive subsidised foodgrains, would shield the common man from rising food prices to some extent.
Referring to job creation, Manmohan Singh said the government had not been able to do well and was working "hard" to improve the situation.
"I am concerned that we have not been as successful as we need to be in generating employment in the manufacturing sector. This is an aspect of performance which