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Pace of progress will improve, says Manmohan Singh

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: “In the coming months and years, I hope to see a decisive change in the pace of our progress to becoming a leading economy in the world,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday.

He was inaugurating the 25th ‘India Economic Summit’ organised here by the World Economic Forum in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

However, Dr. Singh gave a clear indication of the timing of withdrawal of fiscal sops which had been extended to industry and people at large to tackle the slowdown in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“Like other countries, we resorted to a significant stimulus and we will take appropriate action next year to wind this down.”

However, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia maintained that it would depend on the level of inflation and growth at that point of time.

“Winding down stimulus next fiscal means reducing fiscal deficit. You have to see how fiscal deficit is reduced.”

More forthright in opposing the withdrawal of the sops was Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma. “Let’s not forget that the recovery in the global context is stimulus dependent. It is premature to think of withdrawing or going in for exit strategy.”

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