PM vows to get back to 8% growth, deeper economic reforms NEW DELHI: The business mood in the country was unduly pessimistic, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday and urged Indian industry to have faith in the government's determination to get growth back on track. Addressing the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) after seven years, Singh said slowing down of economic growth to 5% was clearly disappointing but termed it as a temporary downturn and vowed to get back to 8% growth with deeper economic reforms. He reeled out the steps taken so far to revive growth but did not unveil any fresh plans to steer the economy out of the troubled waters If the business mood was unduly optimistic in 2007, I think it unduly pessimistic today. This needs correction," Singh said to muted reaction from industrialists present in the room. "I would urge Indian industry to have faith in our determination and avoid getting swamped by negativism. I urge each one of you to keep faith and call on you to partner with the government in our effort to put the economy back on the path laid out in the Twelfth Plan," the PM said. Slowing economic growth, stubborn inflation, widening current account and fiscal deficits, delay in implementation of projects have sapped confidence and attracted strong criticism from India Inc. Singh admitted there were many deficiencies but said they existed even when the economy was growing at 8%. "One of the advantages of being a democracy is that our shortcomings and deficiencies are always put before us. And there are many deficiencies. Corruption is a problem. Bureaucratic inertia is a problem. Managing coalitions is not easy. But these problems have not arisen suddenly," the Prime Minister said. Singh, the architect of India's economic reforms, also took a dig at Indian industry saying he welcomed the rediscovery on the part of business of the importance of government. "In 2007, I often heard it that government had become irrelevant because India will grow at 9% whatever the government does. The consensus today is that unless the government acts swiftly, our growth which has already decelerated will be perennially stuck at 5%," Singh said. The PM also admitted that there was a need to revive sentiment and create an environment in which enterprise can flourish and create both jobs and growth. "The environment today is not what it should be, and that is what the government must correct," Singh said and called for efforts to forcefully deal with the several domestic constraints that have arisen and which must be removed to enable the economy to perform at its full potential. "... and we must prove the prophets of gloom as wrong. We are seeing, I believe, a temporary downturn, which does happen. After all, business cycles have been a recurrent theme of all textbooks in economics in the past. I believe, we have seen a temporary downturn, which does happen from time to time. We must recognize it as such and take corrective action," Singh said. The PM said the government was determined to "everything possible to achieve the fiscal deficit target" outlined in the 2013-14 budget and also promised all steps to ensure that capital inflows remain strong to finance the current account deficit. He also said inflation was softening but still remained a problem and needs to be brought down further. Singh, the economist-turned politician, said the full effect of the steps unveiled in the 2013-14 budget would be felt in the next few months and hoped that they help improve investor sentiment. "We will carry this process forward and do even more in the coming days," Singh said adding that the government had undertaken a comprehensive review of the Foreign Direct Investment Policy to explore what more is needed to be done to attract investments. "In addition to supporting domestic investment, we have given clear signals that we welcome foreign investment which has a critical role in bringing in modern technology and globalizing our economy," Singh said. "Even as our Indian industry steps out to invest abroad, we must welcome foreign investors coming to India, and using India as a part of their global supply chain," the PM added. PM vows to get back to 8% growth, deeper economic reforms - The Times of India ***************************************** I wonder if in the few months left for the General Elections, the Congress Govt and the UPA can enact a miracle to reach 8% growth. Growth apart, the burdens on the common man, the welfare of whom the Congress Party vowed and used for the last election purpose (Aam Admi) and has failed miserably to live upto, like the galloping food prices and inflation unless addressed with all sincerity, will prove a real inhibitor to the wishes of MMS to be game for the third term! In fact, Vadra is right, it is not Aam Admi but the Mango peopleâ€™s homeland, which has been turned from a emerging giant to a banana republic by total lacklustre and rudderless meanderings of the UPAII. Indeed, there has been huge corruption in UPAII and CAG has brought them out. However, haven't they been orchestrated by the very Govt ministers themselves? The bureaucrats have been compliant of that there is no doubt since they all have misplaced ambition and, yearn for plum post retirement that are planned as carrots by the Govt so that they wilt like wilting violets. However, as far as the bureaucrat's are concerned, it could be noted that they are to present the case and give the options with the pros and cons and may suggest the best course. But, they need not suggest a course, if they don't want to, for, the decision is not theirs to make, but that of the Minister. But then the Ministers want bureaucrats to be specific, so that the bells toll for the bureaucrats if the chips are down and the axe is to fall on a head! Then there are extra govt alleged corruption by Ministers where they have siphoned funds for their own NGO without credible activity towards the NGO's avowed aim and the issue now is in cold storage never to surface to its logical conclusion as is what is seen. What is this about Coalition politics being an albatross? If there was a Common Minimum Programme, where is the hitch? However, as the Congress Party is repeatedly accused by its Coalition partners, they don't consult and instead present a fait accompli. Surely, if Coalition politics is difficult to manage, as MMS had said, the fault lies at the feet of the Congress, who feel that they run the Govt and the Coalition Partners are merely there as a part of the decor. Now, which coalition partner would be delighted to be treated as a footmat, only useful to wipe dirty shoes covered with mud after a walk in the monsoon shower? They too have an electorate to answer to! MMSâ€™ moan is total humbug of an explanation for the chaos that is India and the most incredulous lack of governance and direction. Sloganeering which is the Congress' forte has been done a way too many times and maybe the Congress will be able to fool the electorate one more time as Mulayam Singh has hinted about the Congress and its acumen in repeatedly fooling the electorate. Are we having governance? Or is it a case of a drowning man clutching at straws? Instead of governing and keeping the Coalition Partners on board by consulting them before major decisions, the Congress Party is keener to keep the numbers in Parliament going. Every time some Party quits, some others are arm twisted to cobble up the support. Is this governance, where instead of concentrating on the nation building, one concentrates on numbers building â€“ the oxygen to exist to rule and warm the seats of power and reap the pelf, power and privileges while the going lasts, hoping like hell that the electorate can be fooled one more time? The whole problem is leadership or the lack of it. Digvijay Singh is right that the dual responsibility has been a total failure. Sonia Gandhi with her Kitchen Cabinet conhures her populist schemes that drains the exchequer with little going to the beneficiaries because of corruption at every level of distribution and monitoring and without the desired results and then there is MMS, the real chap who should be calling the shots. He can hardly be seen calling anything with his appearing feeble and scratching the surface like a chicken trying to get the economy going, which goes nowhere in any case. Then you have Rahul Gandhi, the Reluctant Prince in a philosophical bind of To be or Not to be. Well, it is time to take the call or step aside. Further, he appears to have no idea or vision about any issue. There are many young Congressmen like Pilot, Scindia. Step aside and let them take the mantle an the gauntlet with vigour and purpose. Or, if the Gandhis cannot let loose of their stranglehold on the Congress, he can do a Sonia on any other young Congress contender. But let there be some decision. The electorate is tired of dithering. Manmohan Singh and his failure to govern and Rahul Gandhi in his failure to decide or even spell his vision to the people! Cavorting from one Dalits's house to another and breaking bread is laudable, but it is only good press and nothing beyond. In short, India requires Leadership and a unitary Leadership. Pathetic bleats like - And there are many deficiencies. Corruption is a problem. Bureaucratic inertia is a problem. Managing coalitions is not easy.But these problems have not arisen suddenly, - won't do. Indeed the problems have not arisen suddenly. It has taken the tenure of UPAII and its rudderless governance and leadership. Indeed, 5 years is 'not suddenly'! This very statement is indicative of poor leadership. A leader is responsible for his command and guides and enforces that his command obeys his orders. He cannot blame others for his poor leadership. If one took MMS line of blaming others, then how come the CO of the Arty unit which mutinied in Nyemo is up for a Court Martial? I am sure he too can say this subordinates were useless and full of inertia and were deficient in man-management! Only a daft GCM would find that acceptable! There can be no different yardage to leadership. This is not a J'Accuse and instead is a Requiem! And with the fervent hope of seeing a Resurrection consequent to the Requiem! Or will they dither on that too -rudderless and confused?