Montek Ahluwalia finds 'impossible' nine percent growth in next five years

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2012 12:30 hrs

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia today that it was next to impossible to achieve a nine percent average growth in the next five years, amid a weakening global economic situation.

"It is not possible to think of an average of 9 per cent (in 12th Plan, 2012-17). I think somewhere between 8 and 8.5 per cent is feasible," Ahluwalia told media on the sidelines of a conference of state planning boards and departments.

Last year, the Planning Commission got the approval for the nine per cent annual average economic growth target under the Approach document for the 12th Plan from the country's apex decision making body, the National Development Council (NDC), headed by the Prime Minister with all the Chief Ministers and Cabinet Ministers on board.

"When I say feasible...that will require major effort. If you don't do that there is no God given right to grow at eight per cent," he added.

He further said: "I think given that the world economy deteriorated very sharply over the last year...the growth rate in the first of year of the 12th Plan (2012-13) is 6.5 to 7 per cent."

Ahluwalia further said that he was hopeful that the 12th plan would be ready by the second half of August, stating that the timing was dependent on several factors, like the election of the Vice President and the Independence Day celebrations.

Ahluwalia said that the work on the 12th plan document was on track and would be presented to the concerned authorities, two to three months ahead of the stipulated schedule.

" We are assuming that the process can be very quick. We have targeted, as I said elsewhere for September, which is actually two or three months before what was done in the 11th plan. So, I think we are on track," he said.

Ahluwalia has kept in mind five percent as far as inflation is concerned . " If you ask the Reserve Bank of India, they will say that inflation must not go beyond three to four percent. Obviously, it is better to have a lower percentage, but we do not want it to go beyond five percent. As of now, it is seven to seven and a half percent. If it goes to a double-digit figure, then the nation gets upset. We think five percent is reasonable",he said .

Ahluwalia also said that the effort would be to reduce poverty by 10 percent in the 12th Five Year Plan. (ANI)

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