Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged political parties across the spectrum to work together to maintain a growth path that will see a growth rate of 9%.
He also said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector would be allowed after a political consensus is evolved. But he emphasised that when the sector was opened up, the government would take all steps to ensure that the move does not affect small retail traders in the country in any way.
On his way to Delhi after wrapping up a 7-day trip to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister appealed to political parties to ensure passage of important economic legislations in Parliament that was important to maintain India’s growth path.He listed the economic legislations to be passed, such as the one to increase FDI in insurance sector, the Pension Reforms Bill, Goods and Services Tax Bill, Public Procurement Policy and the Lokpal Bill.
“I would like to appeal to all political parties that have interest of the country at heart that we can work together. Politics will continue to divide but there are limits to which we can carry political perception,” he said.
“We can concentrate on essential pieces of legislation, like the passage of the bill to raise FDI in insurance sector...,” the Prime Minister said.
According to him, India’s saving and investment rate are good enough to see the country through the current global slowdown; the economy is estimated to grow at the rate of between 7.5% and 8%.
“We want to set up Public Procurement Policies. We have structured Bills in education. If we have consensus on all the bills among parties, then the economy has the capacity to weather the storm,” he added.