India, whose economy has been coasting along at 8 per cent for the last three years, can achieve 9.5 per cent GDP growth even in the absence of hard labour reforms or Foreign Direct Investment in the retail sector, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.
"I have absolutely no doubt that you can achieve 9.5 per cent if you do what is necessary. The Indian economy has reached there. The question is will we be able to take the supportive measures," he said in an interview to a news channel.
The Planning Commission has targeted a 9.5 per cent growth in the last year of the approaching 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) to realise an average 8.5 per cent growth during the PA period.
Ahluwalia, however, said that this growth was "not going to happen automatically. We are on a very good wicket. The average growth rate is over 7 per cent. But to get from that to 8.5 per cent is not just a matter of coasting along. We have to do far more."
While pointing out that economic reforms were absolutely necessary to sustain the growth, he said as regards labour reforms," the government has made it very plain that this is not an issue on which it is going to do top-down decision making.
"It needs to discuss with (the) trade unions. It has also clearly ruled out hire and fire. The main point we are making is that short of hire and fire there are lot of things that can be done."