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Reforms will continue, Manmohan assures US

world Updated: Nov 23, 2009 23:10 IST

Pitching for greater US investment, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday assured American business that India will continue down the road for economic reforms and will recover its economic growth rate of nine percent in two years.

"India is the second largest of the dynamic emerging economies. Like other emerging economies, we too have been affected by the crisis of 2008," Manmohan Singh told top American and Indian business leaders at a meeting organised by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

"Our growth has decelerated to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 and will remain at around 6.5 per cent in the current year," he said.

Underscoring his optimism about the prospects of the Indian economy, the prime minister stressed that he had many reasons to believe that the Indian economy will resume rapid growth despite the fact that slower growth in industrialised countries will limit Indian exports.

He cited increased domestic savings rate and an investment rate of 39 per cent to reinforce his robust growth projections.

Seeking greater American investment in areas ranging from infrastructure to agriculture and defence, Manmohan Singh said economic reforms started by India in the 1990s will continue.

"Wherever I meet businessmen to talk of our plans for the future, the question I am most often asked is whether economic reforms will continue.

"You should have no doubt on that score. The economic reforms of the past have brought us advantages and I can assure you that we will continue down the road," he said.

"We might do it gradually, and in a manner which builds a consensus for change. But I assure you we will persevere," he added.

The prime minister added that his government will push ahead with key reforms in myriad areas, specially those those aimed at bringing the deficit under control while ensuring a strong expansion in investment in infrastructure.

"Tax reforms, especially the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax, are a very important part of the agenda. So also are financial sector reforms," he said.

He also assured American business that legal reforms aimed at reducing delays are another priority of his government.