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India to resort to 'unpopular steps' to address economic crisis

Publication Date : 17-05-2012


During yesterday's Parliament session, India's Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee attributed the market slide to the Eurozone crisis and other international difficulties and said the government was concerned over the slowdown in economic growth and was taking steps to address it.

Mukherjee said the government would resort to some “unpopular” steps to deal with the fiscal problems. "We are going to have to put in place austerity measures," he said.

"We are responding to the situation but I am not pressing panic button," he said in the Rajya Sabha. He, however, did not spell out the austerity measures.

The Opposition questioned the government on the steps being taken to tackle the situation. “The crisis in our economy is growing. Are we heading towards 1991?” asked Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi in the Lok Sabha, referring to the severe balance of payments crisis India faced in 1991, when it had to mortgage gold.

Joshi also wondered whether the economic meltdown in the USA and then in Europe now had India in its grip.

Winding up a debate on the Finance Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Mukherjee said India's growth was still intact despite moderation in the GDP which dropped to 6.9 per cent in 2011-12.

The House later returned the bill, marking completion of the three-stage budgetary exercise for 2012-13.


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