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India a frontrunner in global economy despite slowdown

Indian economy is likely to achieve a growth rate in the range of 7.5 per cent this fiscal, slower than the targeted growth due to global slowdown and tight money policy to check inflation, the Rajya Sabha was told today.

Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written answer that the outlook in the Economic Survey for 2011-12 had anticipated a growth of 9 per cent although the Mid Year Analysis has anticipated the economy to achieve a lower growth rate but even then India was still among the global frontrunners in terms of GDP growth.

He said India had pursued prudent macro-economic policies with counter-cyclical forus in recent years to obviate impact of global financial crisis, strengthened measures to promote growth, develop product as well as financial markets besides increasing social spending to protect the poor. Indian performance was generally commented upon positively by number of experts and commentators.

On the specific measures taken to boost growth, the Minister said these included enhancing investment in infrastructure, through creation of infrastructure debt fund, focusing on private public partnerships, announcement of New Manufacturing Policy, announcement of Draft Telecom Policy, introducition of Land Acquisition Bill and a host of legislative measures to develop banking sector.

To a question if the economists of Indian Political Economy Association (IPEA) had come out with a report questioning the mainstream view on growth and development policies pursued in India, the Minister the IPEA was entitled to its view. It had expressed view that growth of GDP was not enough and the policy had not looked at the distribution aspects adequately resulting in higher inequality. It was also of the view that the global economic recession of 2007 continued to linger.

He said the reports on the economy were studied and used as inputs for future policy making process.

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