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India targets 9.5% growth for the next plan period

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Thursday set a target of 9-9.5 % growth for the next Five Year Plan that starts April 2012, against an estimated 8.2 % growth in the current period.

“Planning Commission should focus on policy and governance reforms, while working towards a growth target of between 9 – 9.5% for the 12th Five Year Plan”, the Prime Minister told at a meeting here of the full Planning Commission of which he is the Chairman.

“We should also set monitorable targets related to different dimensions of inclusiveness, and then work to achieve these targets by appropriate design of policy and funding of Plan Schemes”, the PM added.

According to Planning Commission, the average economic growth during the current plan period (2007-12) was likely to remain 8.2 % against a target of 9 %.

“We need to identify critical areas where existing policies are not delivering results, and should therefore, be strengthened or even restructured. We also need to consider what new challenges have emerged which call for altogether new initiatives”.

The Prime Minister said the nation will end the current five year plan with a growth rate of 8.2%, as per estimates of the Planning Commission and circulated among members. “This is short of the 9& target, but it is a commendable achievement for a plan period which saw severe drought as well as a global economic slowdown, “he told the meeting at Yojana Bhawan, the head quarters of the Planning Commission.

Noting that the availability of resources a critical issue in any plan, the Prime Minister said the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry should work together to arrive at an agreed position on its availability for the 12th Plan.

“However, we do know that resources will be a constraint. This underlines the need to focus more on efficiency of resource use, and also supplement public resources with private investment, wherever feasible,” the Prime Minister said.

In a presentation before the full panel, Planning Commission Dy. Chairman, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia emphasised on the need for addressing the weaknesses in manufacturing sector, further liberalisation of FDI policies to help achieve 9 - 9.5 % growth during the next plan period (2012 -17). “Manufacturing need to grow at 11- 12% per annum to create necessary jobs; we must address the weaknesses in the sector”; Ahluwalia added. Planning Commission Dy. Chairman said that the estimated 8.2% growth during the current plan period was remarkable considering the global economic downturn.

Later talking to reporters, Dy. Chairman admitted that corruption was a big cause of concern for government as well as Planning Commission and they were trying to address the loopholes in the system.

“Corruption is a big issue. Everybody is concerned about it including government and the Planning Commission,” he said. The government system, including system of procurement, system of decision making and system of choosing projects should be streamlined and made transparent to reduce the chances of corruption,” Ahluwalia added.

The high- powered meeting was called to consider what is called the approach paper of the next Five year plan, which officials said will be finalised next month. After that, it goes to the National Development Council, which includes Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and State Chief Ministers.

(Source: IANS)

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