Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan SinghReuters

Amid speculation whether Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee will remain on the United Progressive Front's board after her recent protest about price rise in the Union budget 2012-2013, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has maintained that "these are compulsions of managing a coalition."

In a recent interview after the Union Budget 2012-2013, the Prime Minister said: "Well I think these are compulsions of managing a coalition. There will be difficulties. There have been difficulties."

Protesting the hike in the train fare, after almost a decade, in the railways budget presented by union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi Friday, Mamata Banerjee demanded a rollback to the railways fare and urged the Congress-led UPA government to drop Trivedi from the cabinet.

"But ultimately, if the government is to govern, it must have a sustainable strategy for managing the economy. I sincerely hope, when the time comes to take relevant important decisions which are tough, we will consult all our allies and take them on board," Manmohan Singh added in a statement releaed by the Prime Minister's Office.

 "Right now, the challenge before the country is to accelerate the tempo of economic growth, at the same time to ensure that we do not slip on our obligations to moderate the price-rise," said the Prime Minister.

 "I do believe, both these tasks the Finance Minister has tackled, and tackled well," added the Prime Minister backing Pranab Mukherjee's budget.

In a question by a journalist about fiscal deficit and cutting of subsidies, Manmohan Singh said, the Finance Minister has pointed out the need to control subsidies, and he would bring the subsidies to less than 1.7% of the GDP in the next three years.

Now, that is obviously a task which would, I think, require the government to put forward an effective programme for adjusting the prices of petroleum products, and adjusting other relevant prices. So we have to bite the bullet. There is no other way in which you can reduce subsidies, said the Prime Minister.