Inflation will be down to 7% by fiscal-end, says PM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 16, 2011

A TV grab of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, interacting with editors of TV channels at his residence in the Capital on Wednesday. - Photo: PTI   -  PTI

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday assured the nation that by the end of the fiscal year inflation should be down to 7 per cent, and said that more reforms were on the way in the forthcoming (2011-2012) Budget.

“We have important legislation apart from the Budget to put before Parliament and talks are going on with the Opposition parties to ensure that whatever our differences, Parliament should be allowed to function properly,” he said, blaming the Opposition for the delay in introduction of the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax.

Strike a balance

While addressing a roundtable of editors from the electronic media, the Prime Minister said the Government is trying to strike a balance between growth and inflation, despite it having no control over international events, which were partly the reason for the price rise. He said inflation, particularly food inflation, has been a major concern in the past few months, but the Government's effort was to deal with the situation without hurting growth, which he pegged at around 8.5 per cent for the entire fiscal.

“If we were concerned with only curbing inflation, I think we could have done it by pursuing tighter monetary policies, we could have brought about a situation where price rise could be moderated. But if in the process, growth process gets hurt, I think that would not do our country any good...,” he said.

Corporate debt market

The Prime Minister also said that India needs to develop a corporate debt market, pointing out that “we must, I think, create a viable corporate debt market. I think that is the direction in which we must move,” Dr Singh said. He also said in addition to these steps, India needs to attract investment from foreign countries.

Discussions are going on to create an infrastructure development fund and Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, may make some announcements in this direction, Dr Singh said.

In response to a question on the scams facing the Government, the Prime Minister admitted that some compromises have had to be made in managing a coalition. “A coalition Government has to be viewed in a context that no single party has emerged to rule by itself,” he said, adding, “in a coalition, there is a coalition dharma. Obviously, things are not entirely what I would like them to be. But quite frankly, I never felt like resigning. I have a job to do… I don't say I have never made any mistake. But I am not that big a culprit as being made out.”

The Prime Minister also said that he would “restructure” his Cabinet after the Budget session. On January 19, Dr Singh had gone in for a minor reshuffle of the Cabinet by changing portfolios, inducting a few new faces but not dropping any ministers.

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Published on February 16, 2011
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