Economic slowdown is a concern : PM

New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said economic slowdown in the country is a matter of concern but it should be viewed as a short-term phenomenon in the backdrop of the slowdown in the industrialised Western world.

Inaugurating the 56th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) here, Singh said developments in the world economy and the neighbourhood should be considered while charting the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the past seven years has been able to achieve an annual growth rate of 8.5 percent, he pointed out.

Despite liberalisation of the economy, the government had a major role in providing a policy environment, development of infrastructure, livelihood support and access to public services.

Regarding public services, the prime minister said the masses should be provided facilities in health, skill development, education and sanitation.

Otherwise “effective inclusion is not possible”, he added.

The meeting is being attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and chief ministers.

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