"I do not underestimate the task before us. As the Twelfth Plan points out, our preferred scenario of strong inclusive growth at an average rate of 8 per cent per year will not come from business as usual policies. We have to act boldly and decisively" he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking in Delhi after releasing a book 'An Agenda for India's Growth: Essays in Honour of P Chidambaram'.
Observing that the last couple of years have been challenging, he said: "We must view this as a short term deceleration. Our government is determined to once again accelerate the pace of change. Once again, we will prove the naysayers and Cassandras of doom wrong."
Dr Singh said that over the past decade, when the economy had absorbed the full benefit of the reforms that began in 1991, it had grown at close to 7.5 per cent.
He added, "Our growth rate has slowed down to 5 per cent in 2012-13. But this should not make us feel disheartened and imagine that we have slipped back to our old growth rate."
He also said that the government has to deal with macro-economic imbalances and major challenges in key sectors such as energy, water, and land.
Highlighting the achievements of the past five years, he said the growth has been much more inclusive.
"Poverty is falling faster even though there are disputes going on among the professional colleagues about the pace of change. Per capita consumption in real terms in rural areas has increased four times faster from 2004-05 than it did earlier. The erstwhile BIMARU states are doing much better," he added.