Slowdown has bottomed out, 8-9 pc growth in a few years: Rangarajan

A UN report says India will grow by 6.4 percent in 2013-14

prasanna

Prasanna Mohanty | April 18, 2013



Good news on the economic front. With the international commodity prices and domestic inflation easing, Indian economy is expected to pick up pace.

“I think the slowdown has bottomed out. We will see the growth rate picking up and back to 8 to 9 percent in a few years”, asserted C Rangarajan, chairman of the prime minister’s economic advisory council.

He was speaking at a function marking the release of UN’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013 report here today. The report paints an optimistic picture for India by suggesting that it is expected to recover from its relatively low 5 percent growth in 2012-13 to 6.4 percent in 2013-14. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at 6 percent, from 5.6 percent in 2012-13. China is expected to grow by 8 percent, up from 7.8 percent in 2012-13.

Rangarajan said there was a need to maintain higher investment in the infrastructure sector and that this was extremely important to achieve higher growth.  In fact, he said India needed to concentrate on two key sectors for growth – (a) agriculture, which needed to grow at 4 percent and (b) infrastructure, especially power. Talking about agriculture, he said growth had picked up of late but more public investment was required, which in turn would catalyse more private investment into the sector.

Responding to concerns of excessive focus on growth, rather than social and human development, Rangarajan emphasized that it was high growth that allowed a higher allocation of funds for the social sector development in the first place and hence, growth couldn’t be ignored. But he said there couldn’t be any conflict between growth and social development. Both need to go hand-in-hand. In fact, he said, the focus had shifted from growth to social sector development, sustainability and human development. Growth and development had ceased to be uni-dimensional.

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