New Delhi, Dec 27: Describing the current economic situation as a difficult one, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday hinted at tough decisions like hike in energy prices and reduction of subsidies to achieve the growth target of 8 per cent in the 12th Five Year Plan.
Inaugurating the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, Dr. Singh cautioned that “business as usual” policies will not be sufficient to achieve the scaled down growth target of 8 per cent, which he said was “ambitious”.
The NDC, which comprises Cabinet Ministers and state Chief Ministers, is meeting here to approve the 12th Plan (2012—17) document.
The Planning Commission for the second time proposed reduction in the average annual growth target for the 12th Plan. It was first scaled down from 9 per cent to 8.2 per cent and now to 8 per cent.
Noting that energy prices in India are “too low”, Dr. Singh said, “some phased price adjustment is necessary“.
The central government and the states, he said, “must work together to create awareness in the public that we must limit the extent of energy subsidies”.
The Prime Minister further said that the 12th Plan has made a case for containing subsidy as failure to control them would mean that “other plan expenditures have to be cut or the fiscal deficit target exceeded”.