On board Air India One: Sounding a note of caution that the international environment was not gong to be supportive in the current phase of global economic crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that he is confident that India will be able to sustain its 8-10 per cent growth rate to come out of the crisis.
"I return home convinced that we must continue to strengthen our steps at home to regain the 8-10 per cent growth path. The international environment will not be as supportive as before for some time to come. I am however, confident that our domestic economic strengths will enable us to return to our earlier path of rapid and inclusive growth," the Prime Minister told the media on Saturday while returning from the G8-G5 summit in the quake-hit city of L'Aquila in central Italy.
"These meetings took place when the world is attempting a recovery from the recession caused by the financial crisis in the heart of the developed world. After our discussions, it is my sense that while there are some signs of recovery, the world economy is still a long way from recovering the earlier growth momentum and there must be questions whether that will soon be possible for the global economy," he said.
"We also discussed other global issues such as climate change, sustainable development and the elimination of hunger through food security. On trade, the dangers of protectionism were highlighted," Manmohan Singh said referring to the discussions at the G8-G5 summit in L'Aquila.
"It is clear to me that meaningful global action on all these issues requires a restructuring of the institutions of global governance, starting with the UN Security Council. The sentiment has been recognised in the declarations of our meetings."
Asked if he was satisfied with the outcome of the summit, the Prime Minister said: "It is a very big struggle. I have put India's point of view before the G8 and G5 leaders. The G5 leaders have appreciated it while others may not agree.
"In my statements, I did mention that all available indications point to deceleration in the US and EU economies and therefore one can say the global environment and the development of the third world countries will undergo sharp deterioration.
"Our exports have suffered and capital flows have decreased. The challenge before us is to sustain and revive growth momentum built up in the last five years notwithstanding the global environment."
The Prime Minister said that there was growing support that international structures, particularly the UN Security Council, which were set up after the Second World War, were not reflective of the present global structure.
"India has a legitimate claim to the permanent members' category of the UN Security Council. International relations are based on power relationships. Those who hold power are not ready to give to others. It is a long drawn struggle but ultimately we will get it," he said.
Talking of his second term in office, often referred to by media as UPA-II, the Prime Minister said that it was a long arduous journey for his Government but he intended to take full advantage of the "instrumentalities available for more inclusive growth".
"It is a continuation of our journey. The role of our Government is to get the country rid of poverty, hunger and disease."(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)