Planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday said India's growth rate would be between 8 and 9% in the 12th five-year plan, and Uttar Pradesh would be the gamechanger.
"UP is a large state and it will help the country in accelerating its growth rate and to achieve the target," he said, adding ‘inclusive growth’ was one of the key objectives to benefit more poor and marginal people. He was speaking at the Lucknow University convocation on Wednesday.
Ahluwalia observed, "The name of the game is inclusive growth that brings regional balance, enabling every state to do better than in the past. It narrows the gap between different communities. Yet another objective of the 12th Plan is gender equality and uplift of women.”
"If we are going to achieve 89% growth, a lot will depend on the action of individuals. To promote the ability of this group to achieve this target, the government has to do quite a lot. It will require policy implementation by respective state governments. The implementing part holds the key for pacing up development work. Uttar Pradesh’s growth rate of 8.5% is possible if it implements the policies well,” he said.
The Planning Commission deputy chairperson added, “It is true that in the first 10 years of economic reforms, the states which were more willing (to reform) ended up being able to take a greater advantage. In the 12th plan, the most interesting thing is that the states which were earlier viewed as being backward have now begun to improve their growth quite substantially."
“The growth rate of India, as per the latest estimates, is 5% as compared to some European nations where it is pegged at 0%. This has been a very bad year for the whole world,” he pointed out.
“But with the projected 8% growth (in the 12th plan), things would change for the better. There will be more jobs which is good for the young graduates of universities and colleges,” he noted.
He said when looking at the newspapers, he found that the focus was always on the government expenditure.
"That's very important. Actually what is going to cause this growth is not just government expenditure. Another very important thing we should realise is that 75% of the investment is actually done in the private sector," he added.
Ahluwalia said that as compared to the time when he got his first degree, the country was growing more rapidly in terms of GDP and per capita income.