RTTNews - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while replying to the motion of thanks on President Pratibha Patil's address to both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday exuded confidence that India would achieve economic growth of at least 7% during 2009-10. He sought political support to government's flagship programmes to scale up growth further. He has also promised more resources for areas like infrastructure and public services.

The Prime Minister said this year we would maintain at least 7% growth rate. In the short-run, we cannot do better but this is not good enough.

The growth projections by Singh come within days of caution voiced by the President in her address that the economy could slow down further. GDP had recorded 6.7% growth in the last fiscal, mainly due to a dip in investments following the global financial crisis.

In his 45-minute address, he said though international conditions would hinder India's growth prospects, he was optimistic that India would be able to achieve a growth rate of 8 to 9% this fiscal. Since India's savings rate is as high as 35% of gross domestic product (GDP) and if all of us work together, we can achieve this growth rate, even if the world economy grows at a lower rate, he added.

Manmohan said, We cannot spend our way into prosperity. But there was scope to increase the allocations, particularly for infrastructure, hoping Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would address this issue in the upcoming national budget.

Manmohan Singh also sought to allay fears that pump priming of the economy by way of stimulus packages announced earlier and measures that will follow in the ensuing months would fuel inflation.

According to the prime minister, although fiscal deficit had increased sharply, India had enough resources to spend on flagship programmes especially on infrastructure projects and that would not lead to inflation, but to our economic growth. He added that more investments in infrastructure was the right way to deal with the effects of slowdown.

He also said that his government was deeply committed to the agenda listed in the president's address, adding flagship programmes will be further strengthened and public delivery system made more transparent.

The economic growth rate, as per the Reserve Bank projections, is likely to moderate further to 6% during the current financial year.

The motion of thanks, which says the members of the Lok Sabha are deeply grateful to the President for her address to both houses June 4, was moved by Congress party leader Girija Vyas and seconded by party colleague P.C Chacko. The motion was subsequently passed by a voice vote.

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