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India will grow at 6.5 percent: PM
NEW DELHI, NOV 8 (IANS):
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Published on 8 Nov. 2009 10:54 PM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday predicted India’s economic growth for the current fiscal at 6.5 percent and said it can accelerate to 7 percent next year if monsoon were normal. “I am happy to say that India has been able to face the global economic downturn better than most other countries in the world,” the prime minister told the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here. “In the current financial year, we faced the adverse impact of an inadequate monsoon and the resultant slow down in agriculture. Nevertheless growth is expected to be around 6.5 percent,” the prime minister said. “There are clearly signs of an upturn in the economy. With a normal monsoon next year, we hope to achieve a growth rate of over 7 percent.” The prime minister also told the high-profile audience of chief executives, key policy-makers and representatives of civil society from across the world that India’s growth had accelerated from 5.6 percent in the 1980s to 9 percent in the five-year period preceding the global financial crisis. “Our strategy today is not just to deliver rapid growth, but to deliver rapid and inclusive growth, a growth that will provide productive employment to our young population and raise living standards in rural areas across the country.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday said India will open its doors further to foreign investment and invited entrepreneurs from across the globe to participate in a host of areas, including infrastructure sectors. “Our policy will be guided by the desire to make India even more attractive for foreign direct investment,” the prime minister told the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here. “We are particularly keen to rationalize and simplify procedures so as to create an investor friendly environment,” he told the event, that also marks 25 years of engagement between the Davos-based organisation and India. The prime minister said the measures taken by the Indian government had resulted in foreign direct investment worth $121 billion flowing into the country since 2001-02. “This is not a large number given the scale of our economy. Yet, in recent years India has been listed as among the most attractive locations. In addition, we also welcome portfolio investment in equity in Indian companies by institutional investors.” Manmohan Singh also told the high-profile audience of chief executives, policy-makers and representatives of civil society from across the world that a major decision had been taken recently on people-ownership in public sector firms. “We now hope to see faster progress in sale of a portion of government shareholding in the domestic market and issue of fresh equities in respect of the selected companies,” he said. The prime minister said even though it was well established that the global financial crisis did not affect Indian banks or the financial market directly, it drew attention to the need to strengthen the country’s systems in various ways. “We need to ensure that the financial system can provide the finance needed for our development, and especially for infrastructure development. This opens up a broad agenda for reform.”

 
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