Volatility in stock market main concern, Manmohan Singh tells India Inc

Jul 19 2013, 15:14 IST
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Prime Ministe Manmohan Singh addresses the Assochamís 92nd Annual Session in New Delhi. (PTI Photo) Prime Ministe Manmohan Singh addresses the Assochamís 92nd Annual Session in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
SummaryHe said that the impact of initiatives taken by the government will be felt in the second half of the current fiscal.

Admitting the economy was going through a difficult period, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the industry that government will leave no stone unturned to ensure a rebound.

Singh attributed the rupee decline to widening Current Account Deficit (CAD) and global factors and hoped that the steps taken by the Reserve Bank to arrest fall of domestic currency would be reversed with the easing of speculative pressure.

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As regards the economy, he said though basic fundamentals are sound and stable, the growth rate in the current financial year was likely to be lower than 6.5 per cent estimated at the time of presentation of the Budget in February.

"We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the economy rebounds. I appeal to each one of you not to be overcome by negative sentiment," Singh said while addressing the annual meeting of industry body Assocham.

"Let me begin by stating upfront that we, like most other countries, are going through a difficult period... It (industry) is looking to the government to bring the economy back to a higher growth path. This is a legitimate expectation and is also upper most in our mind," he said.

Government to remain pro-active

The Prime Minister assured the industry the government will remain pro-active in ensuring economic rebound.

"When things are going well, government should interfere as little as possible. When things go badly, as they seem to be at present, it is the responsibility of the government to become pro-active," Singh said.

Noting that the most immediate cause of worry is the recent volatility in foreign exchange markets, Singh said, much of this was due to global markets reacting to the likelihood of a withdrawal of quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve.

"Large volumes of funds were withdrawn from emerging markets and there was a depreciation in many emerging market countries... We too experienced a sharp depreciation in the rupee. In our case, it was perhaps exacerbated by the fact that our Current Account Deficit (CAD) had expanded to 4.7 per cent of GDP in 2012-13," he said.

The government, Singh said, was committed to bringing the CAD under control by addressing both the demand side and the supply side of the problem, especially to contain demand for gold and petroleum products.

"Gold imports declined sharply in June, and I hope they will stay at normal levels from now on," he

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