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PM to chair full Plan panel meet on Tuesday

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will chair the full Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday to review the economy in the backdrop of the industry showing strong signs of recovery.

business Updated: Mar 21, 2010 14:07 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will chair the full Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday to review the economy in the backdrop of the industry showing strong signs of recovery.

The full Plan panel meeting will also consider and approve the mid-term appraisal of the 11th Plan (2007-12), the official sources said.

The approval of the mid-term appraisal is significant as after the full Plan panel's nod, it would go to the National Development Council. The Council is expected to meet next month, the sources said.

Singh is the chairman of the Planning Commission which comprises key Cabinet ministers, including finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, agriculture and food minister Sharad Pawar, besides full-time Commission members and deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The other issues likely to come up at the meeting are rising inflation, steps taken by the government and the Reserve Bank to check rising prices, falling agriculture production and other developments that have taken place since the last meeting of the full panel on September 1.

The Tuesday meeting assumes importance as it will suggest mid-course policy corrections for achieving the 11th Plan objectives. The 11th Plan, which aims an average 9 per cent GDP growth, was hit by the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street titans beginning September 2008. The global financial turmoil pulled down the GDP growth to a low 6.7 per cent last fiscal from over 9 per cent during the preceding three years.

As regards the current fiscal, the Central Statistical Organisation had projected a growth rate of 7.2 per cent, much more than 6.5 per cent projected by the Plan panel on September 1 last (at the last full Plan panel meeting).

The GDP growth, according to the Economic Survey, can accelerate to 8.75 per cent next fiscal and may further move up to 9 per cent next fiscal.

The Commission is expected to revise its growth projections for the current fiscal, in the backdrop of high industrial growth which soared to a historic 17.6 per cent in December and 16.7 per cent in January and steady recovery of exports since November last.

The meeting will also finalise growth projections for the 11th Plan as the overall growth of 9 per cent may not be feasible in view of the developments since collapse of the global economy.

Buoyed by the signs of economic recovery witnessed in the past few months, Mukherjee in his budget speech on February 26 said, "the first challenge before us is to quickly revert to the high GDP growth path of 9 per cent and then find the means to cross the double-digit growth barrier".