M A I N   N E W S

PM rules out early general election
Tribune News Service & PTI

“People of India will keep faith in us and vote the UPA government back for the way it has managed the financial crisis,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when asked about the prospects of being re-elected by the people of India when his government goes to polls in less than six months.

“The people of India will judge us by the way we have proactively responded to the situation,” he added.

Singh today ruled out early Lok Sabha elections in the wake of the worsening global economic downturn and fears of its adverse impact on India.

“It (economic crisis) has no bearing on elections. The elections will be held on schedule,” he told journalists accompanying him in his special aircraft on way back from Washington where he attended a summit of G-20 leaders.

He was asked about the possibility of the global crisis forcing the government to go for early elections or change any plans for early polls in view of the fears the crisis has stoked.

Asked how realistically he felt that the approaching elections would impact the government’s response to the crisis, he said: “The crisis is not our making. I would like the people of India to judge us by the response of the government to the crisis. We acted in time. While the rest of the world is in gloom we will still maintain a growth rate of 7.5 per cent. The goal is growth with stability and more inclusive growth is a reality and will remain a reality despite the onslaught of adverse turn on our external environment," he said.



Manmohan non-committal on fuel-price cut

Confident that inflation will come down further, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today gave firm indications that monetary and fiscal policies would be used aggressively in relation to interest rates.

About the prices of petroleum products, the Prime Minister gave no firm commitment that they would be reduced in the light of the fall of international crude prices from a peak of $147 to about $56, but said: “all options” were open on the question of reducing fuel prices.

“As far as the interest rates are concerned that is the prerogative of the RBI. It will not be proper for me to comment. But as I said it is an evolving situation. If the inflation rate comes down and we feel confident that inflation will not be a problem, there is scope for manoeuvrability both in more aggressive use of monetary policy and more aggressive use of fiscal policy,” he told journalists accompanying him in his special plane on the way back from Washington where he attended a summit of G-20 leaders on the current global financial crisis.

To a question on the possibility of reducing petroleum products’ prices as part of a stimulus package to create more demand in the wake of recessionary trends and in the context of the steep decline in the international crude price, Singh said: “we will look at all options. We still have a considerable deficit on the oil account. It is an evolving situation.” — PTI



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |