Corruption, coalition are problems, admits prime minister

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New Delhi, April 3: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has admitted that corruption is a fact of life but does not suggest remedies to combat it.

Addressing the top industrialists at Confederation of Indian Industry 's (CII) annual general meeting today in New Delhi, Singh also spoke of bureaucratic inertia and problems of managing a coalition government.

These are huge problems and home grown, hence, the prime minister who was disappointed with 5 percent growth cannot blame globalisation for falling growth.

"Growth has slowed to 5 per cent, which is clearly disappointing ... We are seeing temporary downturn, partly due to global factors. We can get back to 8 per cent growth rate," Singh said, adding that government will take speedy and decisive action to push growth.

Economic measures are okay, but how can one tackle social hurdles like corruption at all levels of society, red tape of bureaucracy and everyday drama enacted by the politicians.

"Corruption is a problem. Bureaucratic inertia is a problem. Managing coalition is not easy", the prime minister told the industrialists, who won't be amused by this candid confession, as they face these impediments daily.

However, Singh had some encouraging news for them and said the government will further relax the FDI policy and take steps to bring down inflation.

Observing that the high fiscal deficit is unacceptable, Singh said "We are determined to do everything possible to achieve the fiscal deficit target". As regards the Current Account Deficit (CAD), he expressed hope that it would moderate in the current financial year from a high of 5 per cent recorded in 2012-13.

The government, he said, will take all steps to ensure that foreign fund flows remain strong and restore the macro-economic balance.

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