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India not hit badly by economic crisis: PM

Source: PTI
April 13, 2009 19:59 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the impact of the global economic slowdown is not as bad on India as on other countries since the government had taken measures to stimulate the economy to ensure that high growth pattern was restored soon.

"The global economy is in deep trouble and all of us are affected by it but because of the measures we have taken the impact on our country is much less than on other countries," Singh said.

The government had taken policy measures like increasing spending in public and infrastructure projects to combat the economic slowdown, he said.

"Economic growth in 2008-09 has slowed down and is likely to be a little less than seven per cent. The slowdown is a matter of concern, but our concern is very different from the deep recession being experienced elsewhere," Singh said.

The government will continue to handle the slowdown using monetary and fiscal policy to stimulate the economy and the country's innate strengths would ensure that India soon gets back to a high-growth pattern, he said.

The Prime Minister said schemes like the National Rural Employment Generation Scheme and other schemes implemented by the UPA government would help control the impact of the economic slowdown.

The economic growth of the country over the last five years had been inclusive since many policies were aimed at reversing the neglect of agriculture and promoting the welfare of the common man, Singh said.

The high growth rate of the economy during the first four years of the UPA government tenure had allowed higher spending on schemes related to education and health particularly in rural areas.

"There is still harsh poverty in the country but we have worked hard on reducing it's edges," Singh said.

The performance of the agricultural sector in the country was a matter of special satisfaction since there had been 3.7 per cent growth in the first four years of the UPA government's rule as compared to two per cent during the NDA and United Front governments, he said.

The Prime Minister said the government had also launched the Food Security Mission to increase food grain production and it had resulted in the country's food grain production rising from 213 million tonnes, before the UPA government came to power, to 231 million tonnes.

However, the full benefits of policies especially in education, health and infrastructure development would take time to show results, Singh said.

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