PM wants 8% growth, says country has to 'swim fast'
India's once-booming economy has been hit by high interest rates, Europe's debt crisis that has slowed exports, and sluggish investment caused by domestic and overseas concerns about policy and corruption.business Updated: Oct 24, 2012 12:50 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the country's faltering economy should be able to grow at least 8% a year even when global conditions are poor.
The economy expanded at near double-digit rates between 2005 and 2011, but the International Monetary Fund forecasts just 4.9% growth in the current fiscal year. "We cannot be satisfied with the status quo. Our growth should be maintained at the level of 8 to 8.5 percent regardless of what happens in the world economy," Singh told senior government officials on Tuesday according to a statement.
"We must learn to swim and swim fast enough whatever be the circumstances," he added.
India's once-booming economy has been hit by high interest rates, Europe's debt crisis that has slowed exports, and sluggish investment caused by domestic and overseas concerns about policy and corruption.
Singh said India could revive growth by focusing on its burgeoning middle-class.
"Even if the international demand is not there, domestic demand should drive the investment and our endeavours," he said. In the past, Singh often blamed eurozone problems for straining India's economy, saying that the global slowdown had left his government with less room for manoeuvre.
After years of policy paralysis, Singh last month launched a bid to boost the economy with a slew of reforms easing foreign investment rules in retail, aviation and broadcasting.