Economy will bounce back: PM

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said that naysayers would be proved wrong again and the Indian economy will bounce back.

Singh also came out in support of his cabinet colleague P. Chidambaram and said the finance minister had shown that hard work can deliver.

"The last couple of years have been challenging not only for India, but for the whole world. We must now view this as a short term deceleration. Our government is determined to once again accelerate the pace of change. We will prove the Naysayers and Cassandras of doom wrong," he said at the release of the book 'An Agenda for India's Growth: Essays in Honour of P. Chidambaram' here.

The prime minister said: "Over the past decade, when the economy had absorbed the full benefit of the reforms that began in 1991, our economy has grown at close to 7.5 percent. Our growth rate has slowed down to five percent in 2012-13. But this should not make us feel disheartened and imagine that we have slipped back to our old growth path," he said.

Singh went on to say that as a prime minister, he felt strengthened by the fact that he had a finance minister who was capable of taking risks and asserting political leadership.

"He is not only intellectually brilliant and dedicated to end results, he is also politically savvy. It is these attributes that have made Chidambaram a leader with an enviable reputation both nationally and internationally," he said.

Singh said just by having a parliamentary majority was not possible to push reforms. "We have to build a sufficiently wide political consensus in favour of the policies we wish to adopt. Having a parliamentary majority alone is not enough, because there are differences within parties."

"For reforms to be credible it is necessary that a wide cross section of society should understand the need for and accept the policy changes that a government wishes to introduce," he said.

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