Even a year ago, 9% growth for India appeared to be a realistic and achievable goal. Intrinsically, there appeared to be few, if any, structural problems that made that figure beyond reach. Then came the fight with inflation followed by global uncertainties and it seemed that 9% growth was more of a dream.
Late last week, at a full meeting of the Planning Commission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinted at the problems and sounded a realistic note.
Look at it this way, it is difficult to believe that there will be any serious efforts in the next two years—close as they are to the end of the current political cycle—to carry out structural changes in the economy. These require political consensus that will not be available in the years ahead. That leaves just three years to speed up growth to an overall 9% average.
That is not impossible, but it will require a scorching pace of growth in those years