Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said India and China were the only large nations which did not witness negative growth and showed high positive growth during the period of global recession.
"Banks in the United States collapsed like a house of cards during the period of international financial crisis. Banks collapsed in Europe also. Many other countries witnessed negative growth. Among larger nations, China and India did not witness negative growth during the period," Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram was addressing 'Kerala Development Congress', a four-day development seminar here, organised by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and sponsored by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies.
"Many countries in Europe like Iceland became bankrupt. Spain and Ireland were on the verge of bankruptcy. Countries like the US, France, Russia and Japan witnessed negative growth. Even Singapore had negative growth for one year," Chidambaram, former Finance Minister, said.
Between 2004 and 2008, India had witnessed an average growth rate of 8.5 per cent. Amid financial crisis, the country's economy grew by 6.7%. While 1000 banks collapsed in the US, no bank or financial institution collapsed in India, he said.
"During 2009-10, Indian economy rebounded to 8%. I will not be surprised if it (economy) grows by 9%," he said.
Chidambaram said the private sector had a key role to play in the development of the country and can bring competitiveness in the public sector.
The country has achieved tremendous growth in sectors like infrastructure, software, steel, mining and materials.
"Growth is not an end but a means to grow. It should be inclusive and benefits should be shared to all sections of society. For that, socially inclusive programmes should be implemented," Chidambaram said.
On Kerala's economy, Chidambaram said Kerala should create a climate for investment.
"There is no climate here to promote investments. Investors shy away from Kerala. The state's fiscal position is also not satisfactory. Even the state entrepreneurs like to go out and invest in other places," Chidambaram said.
He said a majority of industrial and developmental programmes implemented in the state were based on the funds and assistance of central government. The state's debt and borrowing rates were also very high, the minister said.
However, he hailed remarkable achievements in the social indicators of Kerala. "The state has high literacy rate, extremely high health indices and low infant mortality rate. By and large, Kerala is a pluralistic society and a shining example of pluralism and secularism," Chidambaram said.