12th Plan growth projection lowered to 8.2 percent

September 14th, 2012 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The Planning Commission has lowered its estimate of annual average economic growth rate for the 12th Plan period (2012-13 to 2017-18) to 8.2 percent, from the 9.0 percent projected earlier, in view of the current sluggish phase, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Planning Commission deputy chairman said Friday.

“We’re not going to have 9 percent growth through the entire plan period. I think we’ll start off at a lower growth rate and then reach around 9 percent by the end of the 12th Plan.

“If we do a lot of hard work and take some tough decisions, and diesel (price hike) was one of them, then we can reach 8.2 percent,” Ahluwalia told media persons here after the Planning Commission meeting on the 12th Plan document.

“The central message of the 12th Plan document is to revive the momentum of growth. The short term priority should be reviving growth. The Plan document then speaks of the medium term strengths of the economy which are very real and which remain.”

Ahluwalia pointed out that this central message was rooted in the global context of economic slowdown.

“Not many people are aware that global growth has slowed considerably. In one of the great countries Brazil, its president has just lowered the country’s growth rate to 2 percent,” said Ahluwalia.

The Approach to the 12th Plan had said that the macro economic fundamentals of the country are strong, even as the final year of the 11th Plan saw the economy slipping to lower growth.

The 11th Plan period was marked by some slowdown in growth, continuing concern about inflation and increase in uncertainty about the global economy.

Ahluwalia pointed out that there was inadequate recognition of India’s record on inclusive growth.

“The Plan document says our record on both growth and inclusive growth is actually quite good. We are ending the 11th Plan with a growth rate of 7.9 percent and it is inclusive growth.

“Data shows poverty is coming down and its rate of decline is twice than what it was in the pre-UPA (United Progressive Alliance government) period,” said Ahluwalia.

Ahluwalia informed media persons that the agriculture sector in the current plan period had grown at 3.3 percent, which was more than the 2.4 percent growth in the sector during the 10th plan period. Rural per capita consumption growth in the period 2004-11 had been at twice the rate of that in the period 1993-2003.

The 12th Plan growth targets will now go to the union cabinet before being sent to the National Development Council (NDC) for final approval.

The NDC is headed by the prime minister with all chief ministers and union cabinet ministers as members.

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