New Delhi, Feb 3 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said that India's economy is expected to grow by 7 to 7.5 per cent in the current fiscal year ending March.
Inaugurating the two-day Chief Secretaries conference here, Dr. Singh said: "The latest data show that our economy grew at the rate of 8.4 percent in 2010-11. This was a creditable performance when seen in the background of a crisis-ridden world economy. But, growth in the current fiscal year is likely to be lower, between 7 and 7.5 percent in a large measure due to the continuing uncertainty in the global economic environment."
Asserting that inflation was a persistent problem during the course of the last year, particularly regarding food items, Dr. Singh said: "Our government undertook several measures to ease the supply constraints that were a cause for rising prices. This coupled with the policy of monetary tightening that the Reserve Bank adopted has led to a continuous decrease in inflationary pressure in primary food articles in recent weeks."
"The overall inflation has also eased. But, monetary tightening together with a difficult global economic environment, particularly the lingering Euro Zone crisis, has impacted the rate of growth adversely," he added.
He also lauded the 6.6 per cent growth in agriculture in 2010-11 and stressed on modernising the sector to increase productivity.
"I am happy that together we have succeeded in achieving a very high growth rate of 6.6 per cent in agriculture during 2010-11. I would like to compliment the State Governments for their positive role in this achievement," he said.
"I would also urge them to give even more attention to areas such as modernization of the agricultural research and agricultural extension system, public investment in agriculture, and reform of the agricultural marketing system and practices. As an enabling provision, the creation of modern storage capacity including cold chains and post-harvest storage have now been included under the Scheme for Financial Support to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure i.e. Viability Gap Funding Scheme," he added.
Emphasising that there is a need to review and amend the Agriculture Produce Marketing Act to enable farmers to bring their products to retail outlets and also allow retailers to directly purchase from the farmers, Dr. Singh said: "This would bring better remuneration to farmers, check wastage and allow competitive prices to prevail in retail markets." (ANI)
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