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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Still hopeful of Trinamool support to Pranab, says PM

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times  On Board Prime Minister's Flight, June 23, 2012
First Published: 23:16 IST(23/6/2012) | Last Updated: 18:10 IST(25/6/2012)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that he is hopeful that UPA ally Trinamool Congress will also find its way to support the (Presidential) candidature of Pranab Mukherjee."

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"I still have not given up hope that Trinamool Congress will also find its way to support the (Presidential) candidature of Pranab Mukherjee," he said.

Asked about a reshuffle as he returned from the Rio summit, he said, "You will get to know about it when it takes place."

Singh said a cabinet reshuffle was "a legitimate expectation."

Singh pointed he had rung up BJP leaders like LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley so that Mukherjee's election to the presidency was "unanimous."

In a signal that pro-reform policies are back on the agenda, Singh on his return from the G20 and Rio summits, said "we cannot expect outside help on a scale which can see us through our difficulties" and Indians "have to raise our economy through our own steps."

Singh said India needed credible and effective steps to handle multiple problems in its economy, including the management of the fiscal deficit, its "balance of payments deficit on the current account" and the decline of the rupee.

The Prime Minister "urged all political parties to work with the government to restore the momentum of growth that the country is capable of and which this country needs."

He did not elaborate on the specific policies he had in mind saying it would "not be proper" to go into detail before he returned to India.

A slew of economic reforms are presently in limbo. These include lifting barriers to foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and bills on reforming insurance, pension, banking and land acquisition.

When specifically asked about restoring foreign investor confidence given the country's sliding credit rating and the confusion caused by retroactive taxes, he spoke of the need for both foreign direct and portfolio investment.

"Obstacles which come in the way" and "policy impediments" would be addressed, he said, "effectively and credibly."

Singh noted that capital was "in search of safety" and was going to countries like Germany and the United States. Developing countries like China and India were therefore seeing their growth rates slump.

He said of his seven days of international travelling that "the events of the last couple of days convince me more than ever before that there are no international solutions to the problems of a country of India's size and diversity."

He did not explain what assistance he had expected other nations to extend to India, though some officials said this was more about the creation of a more stable global economic environment.

Singh insisted there was no "stagflation" in India, merely a " slowing down."

Stagflation is an economic phenomenon of simultaneous high inflation and low growth.


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