FM harps on 10% growth rate

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi, Jul 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2007, 04:32am hrs
Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday once again stressed that he was confident of the economy achieving 10% growth in 2008-09. While I am unable to say whether we will be able to achieve 10% growth in this fiscal, I am confident that this is within our reach in the next fiscal, Chidambaram said.

However for this to be achieved, the pace of economic reforms must be accelerated further, the finance minister pointed out while speaking at a function organised by The Express group to mark the release of the book The Politics of Change: A Ringside View, written by well-known political commentator NK Singh.

Economic change has come by seizing opportunities and the best way to achieve a double-digit growth rate next fiscal would be by seizing all available opportunities, Chidambaram said. He added that his only regret after being in government for so long is that the pace of reforms in the country is not faster. We can go faster with reforms, yet we arent, he admitted.

Chidambaram said even after more than a decade the country was still debating the views of the left and the right on economic reforms. Given the complex politics in India, given the multitude of political parties, the best way to go forward is to seize the opportunity," he reiterated. Agreeing with the need to accelerate reforms, Arun Shourie, member, Rajya Sabha, said, The role of the Prime Minister in the process of bringing about change and reforms is crucial. When he stands by you, you can seize opportunity.

Speaking on the occasion, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Indian Express, said, Reforms are a necessary part of economic growth. He pointed out that NK Singh, during his tenure as a bureaucrat, helped significantly to bring about such change, which is reflected in his book as well.

NK Singh said, While much has been achieved, there is still a large unfinished agenda in the area of economic reforms.