India can achieve 7.5-8 per cent growth rate: Montek

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KUMBAKONAM, December 28: India can bounce back to a growth rate of 7.5 per cent to eight per cent from the present five per cent, provided it makes use of the turnaround taking place in the global economy and solves its own economic problems, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, said here on Friday.

Delivering the ninth V. Narayanan Memorial Lecture at Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy (SASTRA) on ‘Global in India and India in global’, Mr. Ahluwalia said the country’s growth rate in 2008-09 was 6.3 per cent after the global economic crisis and 9.3 per cent in 2009-10. But during 2011-12, the growth rate dipped to 6.3 per cent, and in 2012-13 and 2013-14 to five per cent.

“We cannot say that the global economy doesn’t have an impact on the Indian economy. We should be much more globally integrated. The global economy is stabilising now. When we achieved nine per cent growth rate, obviously we were benefiting from the global boom.”

Talking about domestic problems, Mr. Ahluwalia said the power situation was very important. Though investments in the power sector had increased, along with generation pf power, investments in fuel supply did not take place. Fuel supply agreements had not been implemented. India is an energy deficit country, he said.

“People can pay for power. It need not be cheap. But they have every right to ask for uninterrupted quality power [supply],” he said. He called for infrastructure development and management of the energy economy. He also regretted that the country was not generating as much employment as it should.

Despite the inevitable uncertainties of general elections now, India can hope to achieve a 7.5 per cent to eight per cent growth rate, provided it takes measures to do so, he said.

Mr. Ahluwalia appreciated the University for converting the house of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan into a monument, after purchasing and renovating it.

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