We will alter policies to accelerate growth: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday announced his resolve to put government finances in order by cutting down subsidy on oil and implementing the fiscal deficit reduction blueprint proposed by finance minister P Chidambaram, saying the “unsustainable” growth in oil subsidy is coming in the way of social spending. Singh also pledged to speed up share sale in state-run companies to find the resources to build ports and highways and to take up welfare measures.
At the 85th annual general meeting of industry chamber Ficci here, the PM made it clear his priority was to step up investments and savings rate in order to spur economic growth to 8% in the next five years, which, he admitted, was an “onerous” task. The ruling coalition, which came to power on the promise of inclusive growth, would also strive to cut down unmanageable subsidies without compromising on the benefits meant for the poor.
“I stand before you to reassure you that our government is committed to doing everything that is possible to alter the policy environment, to accelerate economic growth and to make the growth process socially and regionally more inclusive,” he said.
“Under-pricing of energy, particularly electricity and petroleum products, has greatly affected the resources available for investments in infrastructure and social development,” said Singh, adding that the oil subsidy is more than what the government spends on health and education together. The Budget this year had allocated R43,580 crore to help
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