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Global slump affecting Indian economy, this may impact national security too, cautions PM

PTI 23 Sep 2012, 13:21:53 PM IST
New Delhi, Aug 15: India's national security will be affected if steps are not taken to increase economic growth and encourage new investments in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.

In his Independence Day address, the Prime Minister said that his government will work hard to shield Indian economy from the impact of global economic slowdown.

However, this would require creating an environment which “we are not being able to achieve ... because of a lack of political consensus on many issues. Time has now come to view the issues which affect our development process as matters of national security,” Singh said.

He cautioned if the economic growth is not increased, new investments are not encouraged, the government finances are not improved and livelihood security of the common man and energy security of the country are not ensured, “then it most certainly affects our national security”.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Singh said the global economy, which is passing through a difficult phase, has adversely affected India as well.

“Also, there have been domestic developments which are hindering our economic growth. Last year our GDP grew by 6.5 per cent. This year we hope to do a little better,” he said.

While not much can be done about the conditions prevailing outside the country, “we must make every effort to resolve the problems inside our country so that our economic growth and creation of employment opportunities are again speeded up,” he said.

On inflation, Singh said while it must be controlled, bad monsoon this year would pose some difficulties. While wholesale inflation has come down to 6.87 per cent in July, prices of food items are still rising by over 10 per cent annually.

Singh said the government has taken steps to deal with deficit rains. These include giving diesel and seed subsidy to farmers in drought affected areas.