India PM says reforms steps 'only the beginning'
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's premier Manmohan Singh said on Saturday his government's new reforms to spur the economy were "only the beginning", while lashing out at "excessive pessimism" that he said is hurting growth.
Singh's scandal-scarred government has unleashed a blitz of reforms to further open up sectors such as retail, insurance and aviation to foreign investment as it seeks to kickstart growth before facing voters in polls due in early 2014.
"The steps we have taken are only the beginning of a process to revive our economy and take it back to its trend growth rate of eight to nine per cent," Singh told an audience of corporate leaders in New Delhi.
"Our government has acted to reverse the cycle of negative expectations and stimulate investment," he said.