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India to be third major economy in 20 years: Montek

business Updated: Jan 06, 2012 19:40 IST

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday said India is expected to be the world's third major economy in the next 20 years, after China and the US.

"In the next 20 years from now, China could be in the number one position followed by the USA, and India in the third position with GDP growth rate at about 9 %," Ahluwalia said.

It would be wrong to say that India's growth story has come to an end, he said and added, "It is true that this year has been slightly a slower year. This is not only for India, but for other countries also."

There is an indication of per capita income growing at 7-8 % in the next 20 years, Ahluwalia said while delivering convocation address at the KIIT University here.

Stating that the economy was fast changing and there were rapid improvement in technologies across the globe, he pointed out that Asian countries like China and India would benefit.

Ahluwalia further said that a lot of ideas are in the pipeline. "I hope in next few months, a lot of action will slowly take place."

He said that India's economy was very slow during the first 20 years of Independence where the GDP growth was only 3 % and per capita growth rate was about 1 % or 1.5 %.

However, he told students, "While it took 45 years to double the per capita income in our time, it will take only nine years in your time."

Ahluwalia urged the students to be ready for a rapid change and not to expect the scenario to be stable anytime soon, and asked them to cope with the new situation which has completely changed.

He said although the rate of population growth is at 1.4 %, it is gradually slowing down and could be around one % in the next 20 years.

Stating that education is backbone of the development, he said quality education has been the major focus for government in 11th Plan and will also be a focus area in the 12th Plan.

As providing quality education is a major challenge, Ahluwalia private participation in the sector is inevitable.

Terming the gloomy economic situation as temporary, he said, "To tide over the situation and grow at a faster pace, Indians have to think out of the box."

He also predicted that a lot of jobs will be created in the public sector in coming days.