There is still no hiding the fact that manufacturing has taken a beating in 2008-09. Compared with a growth rate of 8.2% in 2007-08, manufacturing only grew at 2.4% for the whole of 2008-09. In fact, the IIP has been pretty dismal over the last few months and the positive growth for the whole financial year is courtesy the performance before September 2008. The interest rate regime still remains tight for firms in manufacturing and the new government must do its best to facilitate lower lending rates. It will, of course, be a while before exports pick up, but the early signs of recovery in the US are encouraging. The UPA recorded excellent rates of growth during the first four years of it first tenure; yet, it hesitated to take ownership for that fine performance. But, hopefully, the election result will convince it that growth does win votes as well and, importantly, it helps finance those large pro-poor spending programmes that are also vote-winners. A persistent slowdown in growth will drain the government of resources and lead to a dire situation on the fiscal front. The government will, understandably, be reluctant to cut its social sector spending. Therefore, now is the time for UPA II to ride the agenda of growth and push growth rates up. Some quick reform measures, preferably in the Budget due in Julyincluding disinvestmentwill signal in no uncertain terms a desire to move in that direction.