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Govt trying to revive economy: Pranab Mukherjee

india Updated: Feb 21, 2013 13:27 IST
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Expressing concern over declining growth, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said government is taking steps to revive investment activity and boost economy.

"Both global and domestic factors have affected our growth. We need to address the impact of both. My government has responded to the situation by taking several measures to revive investment activity and investor sentiment," he said in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session.

The economic growth during the 2012-13 is expected to fall to a decade low level of 5%. It was 6.2% in the previous fiscal.

"The past year has been a very difficult one for the global economy ...It has been a difficult year for India also.

"The Indian economy is currently experiencing slower growth. The real GDP grew by 5.4% in the first half of the current fiscal year. This is significantly lower than the average of around 8 per cent in the last decade," Mukherjee said, adding the government is taking steps to deal with factors responsible for the slowdown.

On concerns over fiscal prudence, Mukherjee said, the government has announced a roadmap for fiscal consolidation and would contain the fiscal deficit to 5.3 per cent of the GDP in the current financial year.

Referring to the issue of price rise, he said "inflation is easing gradually, it is still a problem ... There has been a moderation in core inflation and recovery in growth is likely".

The inflation based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) plummeted to a three year low of 6.62 per cent in January. The retail inflation, however continued to remain in double digit.

The government, he added, is also working with states to reach a consensus on Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will streamline indirect taxation system.

Govt oncerned over safety of women

Against the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape case, the government on Thursday said it is deeply concerned over such incidents and has begun implementing a series of administrative measures to improve safety of women.

Addressing the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee noted that the government has already promulgated an ordinance to amend the criminal law to provide stringent punishment for heinous sexual offences against women.

"My government is deeply concerned about incidents of sexual offences against women... The government has also begun to implement a series of administrative measures to improve the safety and security of women in the country," he said.

The statement comes against the backdrop of the gangrape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl on December 16 in a moving bus in Delhi, which triggered unprecedented outrage across the country.

Following this, the government set up the Justice JS Verma Committee which came out with a series of recommendations, including amendments to criminal law.

On the basis of these recommendations, the government promulgated the ordinance to provide for stringent punishment for heinous sexual offences against women.

Mukherjee said the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.