Combating inflation, pushing reforms top priority

New Delhi: Combating inflation and sustaining growth momentum may be the top priority, but the government today said it would strive to push economic reforms to encourage foreign and private sector investments in the economy.

"The Indian economy continues to be on a trajectory of high growth despite an adverse global environment… However, there is no room for complacency," President Pratibha Patil said in her address to Parliament that marked beginning of the Budget session.

The top priority of the government, she said, would include combating high prices especially of food items and sustaining momentum of economic growth.

To achieve this twin objective, she said "we have strived to make the domestic environment more conducive to investment, encouraging public as well as private investment, and domestic as well as foreign investment, particularly FDI.

"We have to maintain the momentum for reforms on a wide front," Patil said.

Referring to the high inflation during the past one year, the President said "my government is deeply concerned over the adverse impact of inflation on the aam aadmi (common man) and the threat it poses to the growth momentum."

While the food inflation had touched 18.32 per cent in December, 2010 before moderating to over 11 per cent this month, the overall inflation still hovers above eight per cent as against the comfort level of 5-6 per cent.

The economic growth, however, is expected to be 8.6 per cent for the current fiscal, up from eight per cent a year ago.