PM Addresses The Nuts And Bolts Of Growth

New Delhi, Aug 24 | Updated: Aug 25 2004, 05:55am hrs
The UPA government means business. Reiterating the governments commitment to achieve 7-8 per cent economic growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to step up investment and create an enabling environment that rewards creativity, risk-taking and the spirit of enterprise and adventure. Towards this end, he announced the setting up of a Committee on Infrastructure directly under his chairmanship.

The committee will monitor progress in all key infrastructure projects on a quarterly basis to ensure that targets are met. The Planning Commission will function as the executive arm of the committee, identify bottlenecks in policy implementation. It will also guide the relevant ministries to speed up implementation of projects and generate ideas for the consideration of the committee, he said.

The objective is to create world-class infrastructure, Dr Manmohan Singh added. Drawing attention to the declining ratio of gross domestic capital formation to gross domestic product over the years, Dr Manmohan Singh said his government is resolved to reverse the trend.

The PM also announced the re-constitution of the Prime Ministers Council on Trade and Industry. The tyranny of over-inspection must end, said Dr Singh. The governments vision is to transform India into the home of multinational corporations (MNCs) of future, he elaborated.

Dr Singh was speaking to a packed house at a function organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) to celebrate the centenary of JRD Tata. It was the first business gathering addressed by Dr Singh after he assumed the office of Prime Minister.

Harking back to his pet theme of growth with a human face, Dr Singh said: Our objective of increasing public investment in social and economic infrastructure cannot be met unless the central and state governments pay attention to the improved management of public finances and enterprises.

The government is committed to fiscal discipline and all Union ministers have been asked to improve the functioning of public sector enterprises, he added.

Agriculture and industry must grow in tandem if India is to achieve 7-8 per cent growth. This requires acceleration in the agriculture growth rate to 4 per cent and an industrial growth rate of around 10-12 per cent.

It is easy to see that the two are inter-linked. I realise that for this to be feasible, it is of utmost importance that we create an enabling environment that rewards creativity, risk-taking and the spirit of enterprise and adventure, said Dr Singh.