PM says 10% growth possible

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today projected a bullish picture of economic growth saying that the GDP will grow by 7.5 percent this fiscal and 10 percent in the next two-three years.

Although industry and services have been growing at more than 8 percent in recent years, overall economic growth has averaged around 7 percent because of sluggish expansion in farm output.

Singh said the government is giving a big push to agriculture, and expects the overall economy to expand 7.5 percent in the current fiscal. "We should be targeting a 10 percent growth rate in two to three years' time," Singh said at the India Economic Summit 2005, a meeting of business leaders from around the world who gathered here to explore opportunities in one of the world's fastest growing economies. "In my view, this is eminently feasible."

Singh promised the business leaders that the government would continue with market opening policies.

“I believe there are no external constraints to India’s growth and whatever constraints are there, are internal.” He said these constraints were imposed by polity, social structures, regional imbalances and the inability to handle inequity and our inability to take hard but essential decisions.

Singh also said that India’s foreign investment policy was among the most liberal in the world except in the financial, retailing and coal mining sectors.

“Sometimes our ability to create bureaucratic hurdles in the way of enterprise amazes me. I think, as far as the FDI is concerned, it is not the policy but badly designed procedures and poor infrastructure which act as a constraints,” he added.

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