If this year's preparations on India's next Five-Year Plan (2012-17) provide any indication, the Planning Commission is likely to set ambitious targets for economic growth and infrastructure development for the period.
Clouded by the global economic meltdown that began in 2008, the current Plan (2007-12) needed a lot of scaling down of the targets and the mid-term review was quite straight about it.
Against this backdrop, the Plan panel kicked off the process of formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan, which may eventually see the official think-tank pegging the annual growth rate at 10%, up from 8.1 % in the current Plan.
The Planning Commission started the process of preparing the Approach Paper in the second quarter this fiscal and it is expected to be ready by March, 2011.
It is the key document on the basis of which the detailed Five-Year Plan is worked out. The 12th Plan will commence on April 1, 2012.
Unlike earlier years, this time the panel is seeking inputs from individuals as well -- besides heavy-weight stakeholders -- to make the process of Plan formulation more inclusive, for which it has set up a special website.
Before launching the preparatory work for the next Plan, the Commission came out in March with a Mid-Term Appraisal (MTA) of the 11th Plan.
The review took note of the impact of the global financial meltdown on the Indian economy and also the projections for growth. It scaled down the growth estimate from 9 % to 8.1 %.
The review was considered and approved by the National Development Council (NDC) -- the highest policy making body in the country, headed by the Prime Minister and comprising key Union ministers and state chief ministers.
"The average rate of growth in the Plan period could be a little over 8 % (8.1 %). This would be below the original plan target of an average of 9 % growth... but it would be better than the 7.8 % achieved in the Tenth Plan period," the Commission said in the MTA.
It said the economy will expand by 8.5 % in 2010-11 and rise to 9 % in the terminal year of the
It had set an average annual growth target of 9 % for the 11th Plan -- beginning with 8.5 % in the first year and closing with 10 % in 2011-12.
The MTA document said the economy exceeded expectations in 2007-08, with a growth rate of 9 %, but the momentum was interrupted in 2008-09 because of the global financial crisis.
Following the global meltdown, the growth rate slipped to 6.7 % in 2008-09 from over 9 % in the preceding three years.