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India passing through a tough time: Pranab

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that the Indian economy is facing tough times as the industrial activity has slowed down, impacting the revenue collection.

"We are passing through a difficult time… Nation as a whole… we will have to be tough… we cannot delay the process of taking hard decisions," Mukherjee said here at an award function.

India`s economic growth is estimated at 6.9 per cent in 2011-12, the lowest in three years. The government has pegged the GDP growth for the current year at 7.6 per cent. "I know when I say this thing, it is easier said than done. In the process of decision making, you ought to consider so many issues, so many constraints at a time. I know that entire international environment is not conducive to the process of recovery," Mukherjee added.

The government has not been able to push through important economic bills due to opposition, including from its own allies. It has been engaged in consensus building among various political parties on different policy matters including allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

The ongoing sovereign debt crisis in some European countries has also hurt India`s exports. There are also allegations from different quarters of policy paralysis which government has been consistently denying.

The government has set itself a tough task of bringing subsidy bill to below 2 per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product) in the current fiscal. India, which imports about 80 per cent of its crude oil needs, sells diesel at subsidised prices. While the government had freed petrol in June 2010, it continues to regulate price of diesel.

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