Buoyed by the prospects of a robust economic recovery,the Planning Commission has expressed the optimism that the average economic growth during the 11th Plan (2007-12) could exceed 8.1 per cent against the 7.7 per cent recorded during the previous Plan.
"We will end the 11th Plan period with 8.1 per cent growth, perhaps a little more," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here on Friday. The National Development Council (NDC) meeting is scheduled for July 24 to approve the mid-term appraisal (MTA) document.
Although the 11th Plan will not be able to achieve the original target of 9 per cent growth due to the impact of the global economic crisis during 2008-09 and 2009-10, the average growth of over 8.1 per cent would be much higher than 7.7 per cent achieved during the 10th Plan, he said.
"We cannot achieve the original 11th Plan target (of 9 per cent growth) because 2008 and 2009 were two depressing years," Ahuwalia said.
On the current fiscal, he said, the GDP would grow by 8.5 per cent. The growth would further accelerate to 9 per cent in 2011-12, the terminal year of the 11th Plan.
Referring to the impact of the global financial crisis on the domestic economy, Ahluwalia said, "the recovery has been quite remarkably good...the economy is in good shape."
Following the global economic crisis, the growth rate slipped from over 9 to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 but improved to 7.4 per cent in 2009-10 on the back of a slew of stimulus packages provided by the government and the Reserve Bank.
On the farm sector, Ahluwalia said, though growth rate would fall short of the 11th Plan target of 4 per cent, it would be better than what was achieved during the previous Plan period.
The mid-term appraisal document, which will be placed before the NDC for approval, said, "reaching 4 per cent growth in agriculture is critical for rural prosperity and inclusiveness."
Besides, the NDC, the highest policymaking body in the country, will also consider steps to deal with the problem of Naxalism. The NDC, which is headed by the Prime Minister comprises the chief ministers, key Cabinet ministers and members of the Planning Commission.
The Commission, Ahluwalia said, will be circulating a supplementary agenda on problems of tribal areas for consideration of the NDC.