Holding that "high" fiscal deficit is a deterrent for domestic and foreign investments, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the government will have to overcome constraints to achieve a target of nearly $1 trillion of investment in infrastructure sectors.
The Prime Minister was making his opening remarks at the first meeting of the reconstituted Council of Ministers in New Delhi to share with them "a few thoughts" on the agenda of the government.
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Conscious of the fact that the government was working "against the political calendar", he called for a common understanding to work out mechanisms and remedial measures to tackle these "critical deficiencies on a priority basis".
Fuel supply arrangements, security and environmental clearances and financing difficulties were among the "constraints" in achieving a 12th Plan infrastructure investment target, he said.
"My own view is that while we need not be unduly gloomy about our prospects, we certainly need to redouble our resolve to meet the challenges before us and rise to the task of governance," he said.
He recalled the achievements of UPA coalition government in the last nine years in social and economic policy making, including flagship schemes like MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and Aadhar number, combined with robust economic growth had helped enhanced social sector spending.
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"While we should take justifiable pride in our successes, it is important to recognise that we are now also experiencing the fallout of difficult economic conditions worldwide.
"As a result, our growth has decelerated, our exports have fallen and our fiscal deficits are expanding. Of particular concern is the fiscal deficit, which is too high and acts as a deterrent for domestic and foreign investment," he said.