News / Asia

PM Says Indian Economy Facing Temporary Downturn

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets top business leaders, as President of the Confederation of Indian Industry Adi Godrej watches in New Delhi, April 3, 2013.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greets top business leaders, as President of the Confederation of Indian Industry Adi Godrej watches in New Delhi, April 3, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
— India’s prime minister has expressed optimism about the country’s economy, calling the recent slump a temporary downturn. The slowest growth in a decade calls into question the economic standing of a country seen as one of the world’s rising economic stars.          

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he is confident that India will disprove the pessimism expressed by some in the financial community. 

Speaking before top business leaders at a meeting in New Delhi Wednesday, Singh promised decisive action to jump start economic growth, which is down to five percent.     

"I do not believe our future is five percent growth," he said. "We grew at an average of eight percent in the last ten years and we can get there again and that should be our combined endeavor.  But this calls for speedy and decisive governmental action. The environment is not what it should be and that is what the government should correct."

The slowdown is partly because of global factors. Economists blame it mainly on a worsening investment climate in what was, until recently, regarded as one of the world’s most dynamic economies.  Several domestic companies have opted to invest overseas rather than in India, citing bureaucratic bottlenecks and lack of reforms. 

Singh admitted problems such as inertia and corruption have contributed to the decline in private and public sector investment. But he urged industry to keep faith and promised to ease regulations and fast track projects.  

"There are many projects that have been stuck either for want of regulatory clearances or, in the case of power projects, because of fuel supply problems," he said. "For a variety of reasons in the government, decision-making has also slowed down. One reason is the hesitation on the part of officials to take some critical decisions."  

Singh also sought to reassure foreign businesses, which are awaiting reforms that will make investing easier. Mr. Singh says the government is reviewing the foreign direct-investment policy to see what can be done to make the country more attractive for investors. 

A decade of rapid growth has created a huge middle class and many foreign investors have looked upon India as a big market. In recent months, the government has implemented reforms in sectors such as retail, aviation and insurance, hoping to draw in billions of dollars worth of investment.

There is some optimism. The government says the country is emerging from its worst economic performance in a decade and will grow at about 6.5 percent in the next fiscal year.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid