Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said that the world is going through a difficult economic situation and India cannot be insulated from it.
"World economy slowed down in 2012 and it is not sure if it will pick up in 2013. India's economy is also affected by this, but there is no room for gloom or despair," he told mediapersons at the office of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
Mr Chidambaram lauded the country on the economic front, saying that India is among the few countries registering a decent growth. "Our growth in the first half was around 5.5 per cent of the GDP, and we hope that in the second half of this fiscal year we'll see better results," he said.
Speaking on the recent reforms that the government went about, the Finance Minister said: "Some decisions that we have taken are painful, but when there is difficulty, the pain must be shared by everybody." "But the poor must be protected, and rich must bear part of the burden," he added.
On whether the country can get back to 9 per cent growth, he said it would be a difficult claim to make. However, he said: "I am confident that in the next year the growth cycle will start again and within a year or two, we will get back to higher growth."
Cautioning the departments concerned, Mr Chidambaram said: "We must use our finances prudently so that we can tide over this difficult year.
Talking about what the government is doing about pepping up growth, he said that without investment there can be no growth, and that the government is promoting both foreign and domestic investment.
Mr Chidambaram again prodded public sector enterprises sitting on large amounts of cash, saying that the government wants them to invest that money for the overall growth of the economy.