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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

PM confident of economy turnaround soon

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 24, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(24/5/2013) | Last Updated: 02:15 IST(24/5/2013)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed hope that economic growth in 2013-14 would be better than 2012-13 and exceed 6%, which could set the stage to achieve the 12th plan target of 8% for the five year period if the UPA retains power in 2014.

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"This, I recognise, will be difficult, but it is not impossible. We have done it before, and if we receive a mandate next year, we will certainly achieve it once again," he said at the release of the UPA government's report card on its ninth anniversary on Wednesday.

"We have journeyed many miles, though we know we have more miles to travel," Singh said in an apparent reference to the unfinished business in the remaining one year before the next general elections are held.

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Singh expressed confidence that the economy was recovering from its slump and inflation was coming under control.

"The fiscal deficit is being brought under control. The current account deficit is high, but we will bring it down gradually," he said.

Attributing the decline in economic growth - estimated to be 5% in 2012-13 - to global phenomenon, he said the "slowdown is temporary".

Stating that agricultural growth was critical for rural prosperity, the Prime Minister said the government was targeting 4% growth in the sector besides attempting to increase food-grain production and diversifying agriculture.

Attacking the BJP, he said the NDA government delivered an average growth of only 5.7% during its six years in office.

"To our critics I would only say that in many of these areas since the glass was almost empty when we started, it will take some time before it is really full. The important point to note is that it is being filled," he said.


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