to “no more than 5-6 per cent per annum”.
On the ballooning subsidy bill, Singh said the government plans to provide direct cash transfer into bank accounts of beneficiaries of 34 centrally-sponsored schemes in 51 districts from January 1 and expand it to the whole country by end of 2013.
“The subsidies on oil alone are more than what the government spends on health and education put together,” he said.
Over the last couple of months, besides raising diesel prices and capping subsidised LPG cylinders, the government has allowed FDI in multi-brand retail and permitted foreign airlines to pick up stake in domestic carriers, along with forming a Cabinet Committee on Investment to expedite clearances of mega projects.
The government also intends to get Parliament’s approval for raising FDI cap in the insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, besides amendment to the banking laws to hike voting rights of shareholders in both private and public sector banks.
Singh said the disinvestment process will be speeded up to revive equity markets. Earlier, he had formulated a committee to address the controversial tax proposals of the budget to signal a stable tax regime for investors.
India’s growth slowed to 5.3 per cent in the second quarter of the fiscal, from 5.5 per cent in the first quarter. As per RBI’s estimates, GDP for 2012-13 is likely to be 5.8 per cent. In the three years preceding the 2008 global economic crisis, India was growing at a rate of more than 9 per cent.