Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh
Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan SinghPIB

In his address to the nation on 66th Independence Day from Red Fort in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that lack of political consensus on many issues is affecting India's economic growth.

On Wednesday, Singh said in his speech that global economy is passing through a difficult phase, because of which the pace of economic growth in all other countries, including India, has also come down.

The PM assured that the government will work hard to protect the Indian economy from the impact of a global economic meltdown.

"Last year our GDP grew by 6.5 percent. This year we hope to do a little better," Singh said in his annual Independence Day speech. "Time has now come to view the issues which affect our development processes as matters of national security."

Apart from the global financial crisis, domestic developments were also hampering the growth of India's economy. He warned that if economic growth doesn't pick pace, new investments are not encouraged, and progress in management of government finances and energy security is not achieved, then national security would be affected.

"I promise that we will work hard for creation of new employment opportunities for our young men and women living in villages and cities. We will make every possible effort to secure the livelihood of our poor brothers and sister, our workers and our farmers. We will leave no stone unturned to encourage investment in our country so that our entrepreneurs can make a substantial contribution to our economy," he said.

The PM underlined the need for solving domestic issues in the country so that economic growth and creation of employment opportunities will get back on track. But while trying to solve the problems inflation must be kept under control, which he admitted, will pose some difficulties due to poor monsoons this year.

"However, we have taken many measures to deal with the situation. In districts where there has been a deficit of 50 percent or more in the rainfall, diesel subsidy is being provided to farmers by the Government. Seed subsidy has been enhanced. Funds available under the Central scheme for fodder have been increased. Our effort is to ensure that people do not face difficulty due to shortage of seeds, fodder or water in any part of the country. It is good that we have a big stock of foodgrains because of the hard work of our farmer brothers and sisters, and availability of foodgrains is not a problem for us," he said.

Singh ensured that difficult days for the country would not last long and such problems can be resolved with due cooperation of the common man.

"Even as we face these problems, we should be encouraged by the fact that we have achieved extraordinary successes in many areas in the last eight years. We now need to replicate these successes in newer areas," he said, referring to the period when UPA came into power in 2004.