Limited scope for accelerating stimulus package: PM
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 26, 2009, 11:21
Pittsburgh: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the scope and options for acceleration of stimulus package for the recovery of the economic crisis were "limited" but in the same breath not appeared to rule out any such possibility.

"Our response (of stimulus packages) was to a specific domestic situation. It is true that we have limited scope for accelerating stimulus package and our options are limited because of factors like substantial fiscal deficit and Reserve Bank's monetary policies. As of now inflation is not a problem," he told a press conference at the end of his two-day visit here.

He was replying to a question whether government would consider withdrawing the stimulus package in view of signs of recovery or whether it would inject a fresh dose.

"I would not like to announce package or policy from the foreign soil" he said in reply to a specific question whether steps for stimulating the economy would be taken up.

On stock markets picking up in the last few days, the Prime Minister said it was reflective of the economic recovery in the country.

The economic fundamentals were basically strong, he added.

Answering a question, the Prime Minister said there was no economic crisis in India and it was true that because of the global economic meltdown Indian exports were affected.

"But still the economy clocked a growth rate of 6-6.5 percent. As such there is no crisis in India," he said.

To a question on whether the US was not keen on the successful completion of the WTO round, Singh said Obama certainly has stated that US was as much interested in its success as others.

"I have no reason to doubt his sincerity," he said.

To a similar question on protectionism, Singh said obviously the G-20 countries were worried about protectionism raising its head in some developed countries and there was no doubt about it.

Asked whether US was included in this as it has taken some steps against China on tyre imports, Singh said the US is included.

On re-balancing economy as mentioned in the G-20 declaration, he said as of now the G-20 is "an essay in persuasion. Whether this essay will succeed only time will tell."

The Prime Minister acknowledged that in a highly interdependent world, India has a stake in the stability and growth of the world economy.

"If world economy collapses, there is obviously some effect on our country. Already the rate of our growth of our economy particularly our exports have suffered," he said, adding that this has led to decline in exports of important labour intensive products like gems and jewellery, leather goods and textiles.

"So in an increasingly interdependent world, I think, no country by itself can ensure that all its goals of economic life can be achieved working to the exclusion of other participants in an increasingly interdependent world," Singh said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, September 26, 2009, 11:21

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