New Delhi: The
Indian economy will soon return to an eight-nine percent growth
trajectory - from around seven percent projected for the fiscal
ending March 31 - on the back of high domestic savings and
investment rates and favourable demographics, President Pratibha
Patil said Monday.
"The long-term fundamentals of the Indian economy remain robust.
India's growth prospects arise from factors such as high domestic
savings and investment rates, favourable demographics, and a
stable democratic polity," the president said while addressing a
joint session of parliament on the first day of the budget
"My government is confident that it will soon steer the country
back to the high growth trajectory of eight to nine percent," she
As per Central Statistical Organisation data, economic growth is
expected to slump to a three-year low of 6.9 percent in the
current financial year, substantially down from the budgetary
target of around 9 percent and the 8.4 percent expansion
registered in the previous year.
In what could be her last address to a joint sitting of
parliament, the president said that even seven percent growth for
the current financial year could be considered healthy, given the
"Our economy grew at a handsome rate of 8.4 percent in 2010-11,
but it has slowed down to about 7 percent this year. This remains
a healthy growth given current global trends," she said.
The president listed a number of measures to boost economic growth
and to curb corruption, inflation and black money.
She said the proposed direct and indirect tax reforms would help
boost economic growth.
"Efforts are underway to build political consensus on the Goods
and Services Tax, which will give a major boost to the economy by
rationalising indirect taxes and giving full input credit," she
To curb black money, Patil said the government has initiated
action on enactment of a Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act and
had commissioned studies to assess the quantum of black money both
within and outside the country.
"We are taking many steps to contain the generation and outflow of
illicit funds from the country and for opening channels for
getting information on black money from other countries," the
Patil said the government will target four percent agricultural
sector growth and nine percent overall growth in the 12th Five
Year Plan period that begins April 1.
India's economic growth has slowed down sharply this year mainly
due to high interest rates, fragile global economic conditions and
the government's inability to push through key reforms.
The growth fell to 6.1 percent in the third quarter of the current
financial year after growth of 6.9 percent and 7.7 percent in the
previous two quarters.
Despite recent moderation, the president said, inflation,
especially in food articles, continued to remain a major challenge
for the government.
She said the fiscal and monetary measures taken by the government
had yielded desired results in recent months in curbing
The president said the recently announced National Manufacturing
Policy would help boost the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25
percent by the end of this decade from around 16 percent now and
create 10 crore new jobs.
"Government will be establishing National Investment and
Manufacturing Zones to promote growth in manufacturing," she said.
Patil said the government would provide Rs.17,500 crore over the
next five years for implementing trunk infrastructure projects and
another Rs.1,000 crore for project development activities on the
Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.