Indian economy performed best but concerns remain: PM

New Delhi, June 1 (Calcutta Tube) Even as high inflation remains a major concern, India’s economic performance has been the best in the world and every effort will be made to step up growth and tame rising prices, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday.

‘In the current financial year, the economy is expected to grow at 8.5 percent,’ he said, while releasing a 68-page report card on the first year of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s second tenure.

‘This is one of the best performances in the world and reflects the strong fundamentals which we have built over several years. There are uncertainties on the horizon. But on the whole, I look to the year ahead with cautious optimism,’ he said.

‘One of the major problems we face at present is the pressure on prices. This is to a large extent the aftermath of the drought, but it needs firm action,’ he said at the event at his official 7, Race Course Road residence.

‘I am happy prices have shown a moderating trend in recent weeks. I am hopeful this trend will continue. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully, and take whatever corrective steps are necessary to rein in inflation.’

The prime minister, who was sworn in for the second term May 22, 2009, also released the document titled ‘Report to the People’ in the presence of his council of ministers and top leaders of the alliance, sans any celebrations.

Others at the event included UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

The report was originally scheduled for release May 22, along with a dinner for all constituents of the alliance. But it was deferred due to the Air India Express air crash at Mangalore the same morning which claimed 158 lives.

The prime minister said that in the second term, his government would carry forward the pro-people policies initiated by the UPA since 2004.

‘We will also seek new frontiers and new directions that would strengthen our social and economic foundations.’

The report card listed some achievements of UPA-II under 13 chapters, including those on social inclusion, rural renewal, transforming cities, economic resurgence, sustaining the environment, security and building bridges.

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