India’s annual growth could go down to 6 percent: Amartya Sen

February 23rd, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) India’s annual growth could go down to six percent or lower due to the economic recession, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said here Monday.
“Of course, it could go down. But I am not a fortune teller,” Sen told reporters when asked whether the country’s growth could go down to six percent or lower due to the slowdown.

However, Sen was confident that India’s growth would never decline to the level of Japan, which registered a negative growth of 12 percent.

Sen, now the Lamont university professor at Harvard, felt that increasing internal demand was a way of tackling the economic sloth.

“To some extent that is happening. Because the government earlier wanted to reduce the fiscal deficit. But now they have decided not to do that. That itself is a stimulus package in US terminology,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a lecture.

Sen said while raising internal demand was a way of dealing with the problem, there were limits to it, as some sectors like Information Technology and pharmaceuticals were dependent on exports.

The former Master of Trinity College at Cambridge University said the economies of India and China have sustained despite the global meltdown.

“To some extent, the Indian and Chinese economies are insulated from the global economy. This is good for India, as its trade with China is growing very fast,” Sen said.

Tracing the cause of the US recession to the removal of control in the financial sector, Sen, however, said: “India and China have not been susceptible to the same type of fragility that has affected the US.”

He said the markets in US would go down further as they were yet to reach the bottom.

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