India to grow 8-9 percent in next two years: World BankDecember 4th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) India’s growth rate over the next couple of years will be 8-9 percent, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said here Friday.
“India’s growth rates could over the next one to two years see a return to the 8-9 percent envisaged in the country’s 11th (Five-Year) Plan,” Zoellick told reporters at the end of a four-day visit to India.
The government has been pegging the economy’s growth rate for this fiscal around 6.5-7 percent.
“India has emerged from the economic crisis with a clear vision of what it will take to accelerate back to earlier growth rate and beyond,” said Zoellick, who also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during the visit.
“Its strong fiscal and monetary policies had helped counter the decline in exports and withstand some of the external shocks brought on by the multiple food, fuel and financial crisis.”
According to Zoellick, India’s crisis management measures and the sustained global demand from its $1.2-trillion economy is playing an important role in helping the world recover from the meltdown.
The World Bank has already delivered around $5.3 billion to India this fiscal with commitments to power, roads, banking, rural development and water.
Zoellick said future resources will be aimed at supporting India’s urban development, additional infrastructure needs in transport and power, elementary and secondary education, and development in agriculture and the rural sector.
India became the largest portfolio last fiscal for International Finance Corp (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm, at more than $3.4 billion.
Maintaining that his discussions with Indian ministers had revealed a dramatically increased demand from India for World Bank engagement, he said he hoped to respond with not just financing but also help India access global sources of knowledge.
Zoellick identified literacy rates, quality of education, nutrition and social service delivery as challenges for India.
He also raised concerns over the rise in food prices, saying: “I’m concerned about the food prices, the way they are going up. If you look at the pattern of the price rise in agriculture, it is growing up at alarming rate, especially in developing countries.”
In the areas of agriculture and rural development in India, the World Bank plans to raise its commitment between 2009-12 to $5.3 billion, including $300 million from IFC.
This more than doubles the level of support in the past three years, and will help to support irrigated agriculture, sustainable watershed management and rain-fed agriculture as well as development of livelihood in the hinterland.
Tags: clear vision, economic crisis, elementary and secondary education, external shocks, finance minister, fiscal and monetary policies, five year plan, global demand, global sources, international finance, management measures, manmohan, manmohan singh, pranab mukherjee, president robert, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, private sector arm, robert zoellick, world bank president