India's growth could have fared better in last 60yrs

By siliconindia   |   Thursday, 16 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Delhi: As per economists, independent India's economic journey from a modest Hindu rate of growth of 2-3 percent 60 years ago to the current near double digit figures could have been better.

"India's economic performance was good, but could have been better in the last 60 years. A solid foundation has been laid for future growth though," said ICRIER's Director and Chief Executive Rajiv Kumar. As against the 2.3 percent GDP growth rate recorded in 1951-52, the economy grew by 9.4 percent in 2005-06.

"The performance could always be better, but we haven't done badly given the situation we were in," said Pronab Sen, Secretary, Ministry of Programme Implementation. Apart from the disappointing 1970s, the country has done reasonably well, he said, adding that economic policy should focus on human resource development and poverty alleviation.

Based on the foundation laid in the past 60 years, the Approach Paper to the 11th Plan proposed to push GDP growth to 10 percent in the terminal year 2012. Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, however, is of the opinion that double-digit growth is achievable as early as 2008-09 through improvement in performance of farm sector.

Independent India clocked its first double-digit growth of 10.5 percent in 1988-89, fuelled by the highest ever rate achieved by agriculture sector at 15.4 percent. The next highest came in 2006-07 at 9.4 percent, which assumed significance as it was over a high growth rate of 9 percent clocked in the previous fiscal.

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