WEF 2014: Montek Singh Ahluwalia pins blame for fall in economic growth rate in India on UPA govt

Jan 24 2014, 21:33 IST
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Progress on infrastructure debottlenecking would have to wait until after India's elections: Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Reuters) Progress on infrastructure debottlenecking would have to wait until after India's elections: Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Reuters)
SummaryGovt can't blame economic growth rate in India being flat on global economy: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Attributing the decline in India's growth rate mainly to domestic factors, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said government needs to anticipate obstacles and take quick decisions.

"India's government cannot blame the country's flat growth entirely on the global economy... roughly a third of its slowdown could be attributed to cyclic downturn and two-thirds to domestic factors," he said at a panel discussion on the outlook for Asian emerging markets on the sidelines of WEF.

Ahluwalia, according to a CII release, said that India's growth rate slipped to five per cent in the last year, down significantly from the rate before the financial crisis.

"The government is now working on systems that would make it a lot easier to get this kind of supporting clearance done," he said, adding that major progress on infrastructure debottlenecking would have to wait until after India's general elections in May.

Ahluwalia said that India could potentially sustain a growth rate of 7 per cent but "the question is, how long will it take to get there."

India's growth slipped to decade-low of 5 per cent in 2012-13 and during the ongoing financial year it is estimated to remain around the same level.

Participating in the discussion, CII president Kris Gopalakrishnan: "There will always be challenges and risks. But when I look at it, the opportunities are huge...

"At the macro level, the projection that this will be the Asian century, I believe, will be proved right."

Janmejaya Sinha, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific region for BCG, asked investors to remain focused on the long-term growth trajectory of emerging Asia and not get caught up in near-term zigzags.

"These mood swings, which go from hubris to helplessness, is just the wrong way to look at this opportunity. Let's go to the trendline and beyond the headline," he added.

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