India is set to grow at 5 per cent in 2013-14, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said. This will be the same as 2012-13.
Addressing the Indian diaspora in New Delhi on Wednesday, Singh expressed optimism that the economy is heading towards better days.
“Our economic fundamentals remain strong. Our savings and investment rates are still over 30 per cent of our GDP and the entrepreneurial spirit in India is very much alive and kicking,” he said.
The Prime Minister also tried to dispel the environment of pessimism. “There is a perception in some quarters outside India that the country is losing its momentum of the past decade. This is also amplified by the political contestation here in India, which are inevitably louder in the election season that is now on the horizon. I wish to assure you that there is no reason to despair about our present or worry about our future,” he mentioned.
He also urged the Diaspora to remain engaged in the future of this country with confidence and optimism.
Singh highlighted various decisions taken to accelerate the implementation of mega infrastructure projects, reform tax administration, improve fiscal management, liberalise foreign direct investments and rationalise the system for allocation and utilisation of natural resources.
Attractive investment spot
“With greater political support, we could have legislated deeper reform measures — for example, in the financial and insurance sector. However, our decisions are already beginning to make an impact and India is re-emerging as an attractive investment destination. I am confident you will see the evidence clearly in the next few months,” he said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that one of the key priorities of the Government is to provide open, transparent, accountable and clean government. The Right to Information, the Lokpal legislation, the Government Procurement Bill, changes in the systems for the allocation of natural resources and empowering law enforcement and audit agencies are some of the steps the Government has taken.
“The task is complicated because we have to overhaul entrenched practices and systems while respecting the federal nature of our polity. Strengthening governance is an ongoing process and we can never say that we have done enough, but I am confident that we are moving in the right direction,” he informed.
He also assured the non-residents of continuous support and assistance in promoting their links with India in every possible way. “We have also recently launched the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana to provide social security to Indian workers abroad. The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Delhi will be completed this year. We also intend to start a scheme to assist state governments in establishing Pravasi Bharatiya Bhawans,” the Prime Minister informed.