Plan panel targets 9-9.5% economic growth in 2012-17

Plan panel targets 9-9.5% economic growth in 2012-17

New Delhi: The Planning Commission is aiming an economic growth rate of 9-9.5% for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), up from 8.1% expected for the current Plan.

“We are targetting 9-9.5% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in the 12th Plan," minister of state for planning Ashwani Kumar told reporters, ahead of the meeting of the full Planning Commission on 12 April.

The Commission is likely to approve the Approach Paper for the 12th Plan at its meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Among others, the meeting will be attended by Planning Commission members and senior cabinet ministers, including finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram.

The 12th Plan, Kumar added, would aim at 4% growth in agriculture sector and 11-12% increase in manufacturing sector to step up overall growth rate in the next Plan.

“For achieving 9-9.5% growth rate, agriculture should grow at 4% and manufacturing at 11-12%. Without this we would not be able achieve this high GDP growth target," Kumar said.

The Planning Commission, he added, has prepared the Approach Paper to the 12th Plan wherein the major thrust of the next five year Plan would be ‘Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Development´.

The ‘Approach´ paper lays broad outline of a Five Year Plan.

Although the Commission had pegged the economic growth rate at 9% for the 11th Plan (2007-12), it was scaled down to 8.1% in view of the impact of the global financial meltdown on the Indian economy.

Asked about how the Commission see such a high growth rates in farm and manufacturing sectors, Kumar said, “There would be major thrust on water management and food storage in the 12th Plan to give boost to agriculture and allied sector."

About giving impetus to the manufacturing output, he said, “The Commission sees more qualitative skill development and its larger geographical spread in 12th Plan period compared to quantitative approach in the 11th Plan (2007-12)."

Besides skill development, he said that technological innovation would be another area of focus in the next Plan to improve manufacturing sector’s performance.

“There would also be major policy initiative to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) which would create a conducive environment to bring an investor friendly regime," he said.

About the urban renewal in the country as over 300 million people would be living in cities and big metros, he said, “the government is planning an investment of over 1.4 lakh crore every year to create and to improve infrastructure in urban areas."

Kumar also hinted that the government would also consolidate the social sector scheme to improve delivery system.