India bright spot; must invest in infra for high growth: President Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi | September 3, 2015 4:56 PM

President Pranab Mukherjee said that India is a bright spot in an otherwise "gloomy global economy" and it should invest in infrastructure and human capital to achieve and maintain high growth of over 8% over the next two decades.

Pranab-mukherjee-l-express-The President expressed confidence that India will achieve a growth rate of between 8 and 8.5 per cent in the current fiscal. (Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that India is a bright spot in an otherwise “gloomy global economy” and it should invest in infrastructure and human capital to achieve and maintain high growth of over 8 per cent over the next two decades.

The President expressed confidence that India will achieve a growth rate of between 8 and 8.5 per cent in the current fiscal on the back of moderating inflation rates, lower current account and fiscal deficit, strong foreign currency reserve as well as stable tax policies.

India, Mukherjee said, “appears as one of the few bright spots in the otherwise gloomy global economy”.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC India) here.

He said that in order to achieve high growth rates over the next two decades, India would require unprecedented investments in infrastructure, human and social capital.

In 2014-15, India recorded a growth rate of 7.3 per cent.

The growth prospects for the engineering sector is immense, he said adding that the sector accounts for over 22 per cent of India’s total merchandise export.

Engineering exports contribute about 35 per cent of the total output in the country, and is one of the highest foreign exchange earner.

A key driver behind the rise in engineering exports has been the shift to global manufacturing bases to countries such as India that offer relative low-cost human resource coupled with high quality engineering aptitude, he added.

“The prospects for engineering exports appear bright. In the aftermath of the global recession, our economy has started showing signs of revival. The GDP growth improved from 5.1 per cent in 2012-13 to 6.9 per cent in 2013-14 and 7.3 per cent in the last fiscal year,” he said.

Further he said that to draw comprehensive and inclusive strategies for promoting India’s engineering exports, the thrust will now have to be on product quality, market and product diversification.

The share of sector’s export in the world market is abysmally low. It is little more than 1 per cent.

“We can not remain satisfied with that,” President said.

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