Nine years of UPA saw average 8 percent growth: PM

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Detailing economic growth during the UPA regime, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday the slowdown last year was “temporary” and a longer term view would show that India has notched up an average “8 percent growth” in the past nine years.

The prime minister, presenting the ruling United Progressive Alliance-II’s report card, said the economic situation was “turning around” and economic growth rate in 2013-14 could exceed 6 percent. This, he sid, would set the stage to achieve the 12th Plan target of 8 percent for the next five years.

He said the goal of 8 percent growth “will be difficult, but it is not impossible. We have done it before, and if we receive a mandate next year, we will certainly achieve it again”.

He said the slowdown of last year was largely due to the global phenomenon, including of the eurozone GDP declining.

“Last year the economy did slow down, but this slowdown is temporary. Taking a longer term view, we see that the India was among the fastest growing economies of the world with an average growth rate of 8 percent in the last nine years, including the years of slower growth,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said, on the other hand, the National Democratic Alliance government had “delivered an average growth of only 5.7 percent during its six years in office”.

He said some of the domestic reasons for slow economic growth were being addressed, including setting up large investment projects.

“The economic situation is turning around. Inflation is coming under control. The fiscal deficit is being brought under control. The current account deficit is high, but we will bring it down gradually,” he said.

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