Dr Singh bats for stimulus measures, urges G-20 to resist protectionism

     Making a case for the developing countries at the G-20 summit here, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a strong pitch for defending the stimulus measures, cautioning the G-20 countries from a premature exit. Speaking at the plenary session of G20, Dr. Singh said that problem must be tackled at it root by ensuring the quickest possible return to normalcy in the global economy. "We must certainly plan for any orderly exit when the time is right, but the time is not right now," the Prime Minister said. The global economy may be bottoming out, but it is not expected to reach three percent growth until the end of 2010, Dr. Singh added. Underlining the positive outcome of the stimulus measures introduced in the second half of 2008-09, he reiterated that despite a drought India expects to growth of around 6.3 percent in 2009-10 and then recover to 7 to 7.5 percent growth next year. The Prime Minister also urged the leading economies of the world to refrain from taking protectionist measures. Addressing the G20 leadership, Dr. Singh said: "I recognize when growth is low and unemployment is high, it is inevitable that protectionist pressures will arise." He further said: "It will be a test of the collective political leadership of this group, whether we are able to resist these pressures in our countries." Dr. Singh also hailed World Bank's decision to increase IBRD lending to over 100 billion dollars over next three years, and urged the international financial institutions to support and expand lending for infrastructure development to emerging market economies and the poor countries who had very little access to the capital market.

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