On Board PM's Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed hopes that India will be able to achieve 8.5 percent growth during the current fiscal despite concerns over high oil prices.

"As of now I have not seen any sign that we should change our view with regard to our ability to sustain a growth rate of 8.5 per cent...I am confident that we will be able to
sustain a growth rate of 8.5 per cent this year", he told reporters who accompanied him on his visit to Africa.

The Reserve Bank in its annual credit policy had pegged the growth for the current fiscal at 8 per cent, down from 8.6 per cent recorded during 2010-11.

Referring to agriculture situation and its impact on inflation, Singh said, "Whatever evidence we have, we expect a normal monsoon. And if the monsoon is normal, it will strengthen our ability to control food inflation".

Oil prices to be tackled

On oil prices, Singh said, "There are problems with regards to the burden of oil subsidies. They have to be tackled and all these issues will be claiming our attention in weeks and months to come".

Although the oil marketing companies have raised the petrol rates in view of spiralling prices in the international market, the government is yet to take a view on diesel prices.

A decision on raising diesel price is likely to be taken by the Empowered Group of Minister (EGOM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the second week of June.

Rich nations don't want to give up power

Amid tussle for top IMF post, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said struggle for a "equitable" world order will take long as rich nations do not want to give up power easily.

"... those who exercise power, do not want to give up power easily," he said on the possible candidates for the post of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, which fell vacant following resignation of disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

"The struggle for a better, balanced and more equitable world order, including the management of global institutions like the IMF, World Bank, (UN) Security Council is going to be a long haul, I am afraid," he told reporters, who accompanied him during the Africa visit.

However, there is a desire in Europe for a European should occupy the coveted position because very large proportion of IMF funds is in the continent which is dealing with the Euro zone tensions, Singh said.

(Agencies)