On the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh setting a double-digit growth target in the medium-term, the Planning Commission on Monday said achieving 9-10 per cent economic expansion is not impossible.
"Going to 9-10 per cent is not impossible. But obviously it has to be based on what global conditions are like, how quickly will the world get back to normal," Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in an interview to business channel CNBC TV18.
Following the world economic crisis, the country's economic growth rate slipped to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 from over 9 per cent in the three preceding years.
The growth in the current fiscal, Ahluwalia said, is likely to be 8.5 per cent and may go up to 10 per cent in the last year of the 11th Plan (2007-12).
"My perception is that the underlying growth potential of the economy, if the world economy is normal, is around 9 per cent. I think we will get back again to 9 per cent in the last year of the 11th Plan, that is 2011-12," he added.
The Prime Minister in his first press conference after he assumed office last May for the second time, today said, "our medium-term target is to achieve a growth rate of 10 per cent per annum."
On inflation, Ahluwalia said, it would come down to 5-6 per cent by December as indicated by the Prime Minister. "I think the 5-6 per cent number which the Prime Minister gave is correct...you will in fact get something of the order of 5-6 per cent by December," he said.
While food price inflation is ruling around 17 per cent now, the general price index is a shade below 10 per cent. The government had relaxed import of essential commodities and imposed ban on export of rice, wheat and pulses, besides restricting sugar exports.