With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the helm of financial affairs, the country's growth will soon bounce back to 8%, Union home minister P Chidambaram said in Kolkata on Thursday. Things will start improving this financial year, after Singh addresses the causes for the economic slowdown, he added.
Chidambaram also made it clear that there would be no immediate respite for debt-ridden West Bengal, despite chief minister Mamata Banerjee demanding interest-payment moratorium for the last one year.
Playing down slowdown fears, Chidambaram said that though corporates and PSUs were sitting on "piles of cash", they were hesitating to invest. "2011-2012 was a very difficult year, and the growth rate dropped to 6.7%. I think I have identified the causes of the slowdown. The Prime Minister will address the causes, and the rebound will start in 2012-13. Soon, we will be back in the 8%-plus growth rate," said Chidambaram.
Chidambaram made these statements while addressing the media at the Kolkata Press Club, along with cabinet colleague Kapil Sibal.
"Investors worldwide are looking for attractive destinations to invest in. There are some doubts, but once they are removed, they will flock to India. We will bounce back," the former finance minister said.
Stating that India was one of few countries that quickly bounced back after the global recession, he said the nation witnessed an average growth rate of 8.5% during the UPA-I reign. "Even in the first few years of UPA-II, we had 8.4 % growth. But then the world was hit by the Eurozone crisis," he said.
Chidambaram ruled out any immediate respite for West Bengal, saying: "We treat all states alike, and West Bengal is no exception."
He said the outlay for the state has been hiked from Rs 49,213 crore to Rs 1.36 lakh crore in the 12th Plan.