Cannot afford to miss the bus: PM

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 20 2009, 07:32am hrs
Manmohan Singh
With the Congress parliamentary party officially electing Manmohan Singh as its leader on Tuesday, the PM-designatehe is expected to be sworn in on Fridaysaid on the occasion that his new administrations first priority is to re-energise government and make it more responsive and efficient.

Citing the challenges still ahead for the global economy, Singh said there is need to counter the slowdown in investment and employment generation to revive growth, while making it more inclusive. We cannot afford to miss the bus now. We cannot afford to lag behind the rising economies of the East, Singh said.

Mooting better financial management and economic reform, Singh said there is need to create a social and political environment that attracts new investment, without which growth cannot be sustained or made more inclusive. Calling for a revitalisation of agriculture and acceleration of industrial development, Singh said, We have to continue to keep our savings and investment rates high and become more globally competitive so that we can face global economic challenges.

Pointing out that Indian youth have voted in large numbers for the Congress, Singh stressed that the new mandate comes with the challenge of rising expectations. It is in the nature of youth to be impatient. They will not tolerate business as usual. They expect us to work with renewed energy. They expect the government to cater to their aspirations. They expect a more responsive government, Singh said

Singh promised that his government would be more accountable. I will ask every minister to set time-bound targets for implementation of our election promises and the various programmes and policies of each ministry. We will undertake a quarterly review of programme implementation by each ministry, he assured.

Morgan sees higher growth

Prospects of a stable government have prompted various agencies to revise upwards Indias GDP growth forecast for 2009-10. Morgan Stanley on Tuesday revised its growth estimate to 5.8% from 4.4%. But economists say there is no fundamental change to warrant significant revision. RBI has projected a growth rate of 6%, which is most reasonable. One should expect a growth rate of that magnitude, said former EAC chairman and RBI governor C Rangarajan.