President Pratibha Patil said on Monday the economy was likely to register a 7.5 per cent growth in 2009-10, touch 8 per cent in the next fiscal year and hit 9 per cent in 2011-12, clearly signalling the government’s optimism of a return to the high growth path.
The President observed that stimulus packages in the form of tax breaks and spending offered by the government in the wake of the global financial meltdown and a local downturn had yielded the desired results.
“At a time when industrialised countries have experienced negative growth, India has continued to grow at an impressive rate,” she told the two houses of Parliament in her customary pre-budget address.
She, however, expressed caution about the inflation in food commodities, which touched a decade’s high of 20 per cent in December, and is now just under 18 per cent.
“While we were able to avert any threat to our food security, there has been an unhappy pressure on the prices of food grains and food products,” she said, adding that these were due to a shortfall in domestic production and high prices of rice, cereals and edible oils globally.
Patil said the government’s focus would be on developing sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, rural development, education and health.