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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora