NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh forecast economic growth of more than 6.5 percent for this fiscal year on Wednesday, a more optimistic take than a recent spate of private projections that saw growth slowing to as low as 5.5 percent.
"Last year our GDP grew by 6.5 percent. This year we hope to do a little better," Singh said in his annual Independence Day speech, promising that faster infrastructure development would boost growth.
"Recently we have taken new measures to accelerate infrastructure development. Ambitious targets have been fixed in roads, airports, railways, electricity generation and coal production," he said in his speech from Delhi's Red Fort.
Last week, global ratings agency Moody's became the latest organization to lower its growth forecast for India, predicting an expansion of 5.5 percent in fiscal 2012/13. That would be India's lowest growth in a decade.
Singh accepted the economy was going through a difficult phase and blamed the global financial crisis and domestic politics. He likened the economy to national security in terms of priorities and called on political parties to help the government pass key reforms to boost growth and investment.
(Reporting By Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by John Chalmers)