Indian PM says 8 percent growth possible

April 3, 2013 at 5:17 AM

NEW DELHI, April 3 (UPI) -- India's economy, currently posting 5 percent growth, can achieve 8 percent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told business leaders Wednesday.

"Growth has slowed to 5 percent, which is clearly disappointing ... . We are seeing temporary downturn, partly due to global factors. We can get back to 8 percent growth rate," the Press Trust of India news agency reported Singh told the annual meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi.

Singh, whose government is battling rising fiscal deficits and inflation among other economic problems, assured business leaders the government would take speedy and decisive action to push growth. Those steps would include relaxing policies for foreign direct investments and to ease inflation.

He said corruption, bureaucratic inertia and difficulties of coalition politics are problems but such problems were present even earlier when the economy was growing at 8 percent, PTI reported.

His government has plans to lower the fiscal deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2017. Additionally, India's current account deficit, which reached a high of 5 percent of GDP in the fiscal year that ended in March due to higher imports and slower exports, is expected to moderate in the current fiscal year.

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