India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pitched for difficult reform measures at the recently convened National Development Council (NDC) meeting. In order to ensure a strong and consistent growth of the Indian economy, a phased reduction in energy subsidies and an early implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has been proposed.

The total gross budgetary support in the 12th Plan document was raised to Rs 35,68,626 crore (US$ 651.42 billion) — a 124.53 per cent rise over that in the 11th Plan. On a positive note, the Prime Minister pointed out that the average growth rate of the five poorest states exceeded the national average for the first time in any Plan period. The revision of average 12th Plan gross domestic product (GDP) growth target to eight per cent from the earlier estimate of 9-9.5 per cent, demonstrates a realistic stance by the Government considering the weak global economic scenario.