Indian economy set to take off: Yashwant Sinha

Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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India's $550 billion economy is on an upward trajectory and its gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to record "close to seven percent" growth this year, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said Tuesday.

SINGAPORE: "We are now a $550 billion economy and will be recording close to seven percent GDP growth this year. This will bring us within striking distance of the $600 billion mark or a little above the ASEAN GDP combined," Sinha said in an address to the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies here.

He noted India had pre-paid $3 billion of external debt earlier this year. The Indian economy had overcome the chronic problem of perpetual food shortages, with food stocks going up from 20 million tonnes in 1996 to 39.8 million tones today, despite a sharp fall in food production last year due to poor monsoon.

He also spoke about the improvement in infrastructure development, the mobile phone boom that has helped even vegetable sellers and farmers to have them, development of roads, ports and housing.

He referred to the software revolution and IT enabled services that have brought about a "qualitative upgradation" of India's image.

"India is today recognized not only as one of the most important emerging economies but also as a leader in the field of science and technology, human resources development and provision of services," he said.

"All this has happened in a decade that has seen a political transformation in India. After a brief spell of political instability, coalition politics in India has stabilized and the present government is shortly due to complete its full term of five years.

"It will achieve the distinction of being the first non-Congress Government in India's history to do so," he added.

Source: IANS

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