M A I N   N E W S

India bound to feel the pain sooner or later: Manmohan

New Delhi, October 26
After brainstorming with top world leaders in Beijing on the raging financial turmoil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cautioned that India's economy is also bound to feel the pain "sooner or later" as "we are not in complete control."

"We are not in complete control. There are bigger players and we are victims of that. The crisis is not of our making," Singh said after participating in the 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing. "Well, it all depends on how long it takes the world community to restore confidence to the global financial markets," the economist-turned-politician, whose speeches were listened with rapt attention in Beijing, said.

Sooner or later, "the economy is bound to experience the pain," Singh warned during an interaction with reporters on board his special aircraft while returning home from his two-nation tour of Japan and China.

Tracing the origin of the current global financial crisis, Singh said it emerged in the US and Europe. Despite strong corrective measures like injecting more liquidity and capitalising the banking system, he was still "worried."

" Given the type of integrated world economy we live in, we are not immune and I had mentioned in Parliament earlier this week on Monday and I repeated that same sentiment in Beijing ," Singh said. However, the Prime Minister said his government has had "a reasonably good term" in office till now. "We have had a reasonably good term and I would not deny that over the last few months inflation had become a problem. Also, recently because of the global factors, the financial crisis is having some effect on our economy. Therefore, we are obliged to take corrective measures," Singh said.

"To say that I am not worried would not be correct. It is my duty as Prime Minister to worry when things don't go as planned," he said. The Prime Minister was asked whether he was concerned about the economic crisis, months ahead of the general election.

Asked to comment on the view of the Left parties that India had largely escaped the effects of the global financial turmoil due to their policies, the Prime Minister said: "I am afraid I don't agree."

"Strengthening India's banking system, strengthening India's insurance system has enabled us to deal with the crisis more effectively," he said. "I beg to differ. But I am not very happy to part company with our Left colleagues." "In my view, India is faced with difficult problems, and all parties which are committed to secularism and nationalism must work together to deal with the communal and regional divide which is being sought to be created by some anti-social elements," Singh said. "There are issues which require all political parties which think alike to sit together and I very much hope we can find ways and means to work with our Left colleagues," Singh said.

He said reforms could not take place in political and economic vacuum and his government was faced with problems. "The situation has been such that oil prices shot up in a manner that if I had passed on the whole burden to the people at large, there would have been reckless inflation," Singh said, adding that would have been "far more counter-productive than our position to pass on only a limited amount of increase to the final consumer." Looking at the economy from the traditional point of view, he said "below the line fiscal deficit has increased, but in a situation in which we are placed now, it is a definite advantage. It is not a disadvantage." — PTI





PM ‘sad’ over Nano episode

New Delhi: Expressing "sadness" over the circumstances in which Ratan Tata had to shift his pet Nano car project from West Bengal to Gujarat, Manmohan Singh has highlighted the need for industrialisation with a human face.

"Well, we are a free democratic country. The circumstances in which Ratan Tata had to move his project is certainly sad," Singh said when asked to comment on the Nano episode.

"It is sad because a lot of work had been done in Bengal and there was a date fixed for Nano's appearance in the market," Singh told reporters, and added entrepreneurs were free to decide the location of their plants in a democracy. — PTI




Says LS polls on schedule

Scotching rumours about early Lok Sabha polls, Dr Manmohan Singh assured that the general election would be held "on schedule" and the recent rescheduling of the Parliament session was not part of any plan to advance the elections, due in May next year.

He said the rescheduling of session was in keeping with a decision taken by major political parties working together.' 'I am not escaping Parliament. This is not a decision of the government alone. It has been taken after consultations with the main opposition and other parties,'' he told mediapersons.

Dr Singh claimed that most parties were in the election mood in the context of the scheduled polls in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram. — UNI




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