Fresh impetus to revert to 9% growth: FM

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2010, 05:31am hrs
Expressing confidence over Indias economic recovery, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday stressed on the need to for fresh momentum to meet the challenge of reverting to the 9% growth that slipped to lower levels after the global financial turmoil.

Mukherjee said India is faced with the challenge of reverting to the 9% growth trajectory and even cross the 10% mark but this calls for imparting fresh momentum to the impressive recovery gained in the past few months.

The minister was addressing a convocation of the Hamdard University in the capital. Having grown by over 9% in the three years till 2007-08, Indias economic growth slipped to 6.7% in 2008-09 on account of global financial crisis.

First challenge before us is to quickly revert to high gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 9% ... and then to cross the double-digit growth barrier, Mukherjee said.

He added that although Indias growth story is going through exciting phase, the country has challenges like education and infrastructure which need to be addressed.

Mukherjees optimism for robust economic recovery comes from high industrial growth rate of 16.7% during January. However, the low growth rate of 4.5% recorded by core sector industries during February could be a cause of concern. In the current fiscal ending March 31, the economy is expected to expand by 7.2%. According to the recent estimates of the Planning Commission, the economy could grow by 8.5% in 2010-11 and 9% a year after that.

Ever since the economic crisis, the government rolled out stimulus measures to support manufacturing sector and announced incentives for exports to new markets. However, in the Budget 2010-11, the finance minister partially rolled back some of the stimulus measures after the economy, especially the manufacturing sector, showed signs of firm recovery.