New Delhi: India has recorded an average annual economic growth rate of 8% during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12), compared with the targeted 9%, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

“The shortfall in achievement of (various growth targets) can be attributed both to internal and external factors viz. global slowdown, fluctuations in international prices, strong inflationary pressures and negative growth in agriculture due to drought like situation," planning minister Rajeev Shukla said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said India’s annual average economic growth rate remained at 8% compared to the targeted 9% for the 11th Plan. Besides the farm sector grew at an average rate of 3.7% as against 4% targeted in the five-year policy period. As against an annual average growth of 10-11% envisaged for the industry during the period, the actual annual average growth stood at 7.2% during the Plan period.

Services sector grew at an average rate of 9.7% per annum compared to the targeted 9-11% in the five-year period, he said.

Meanwhile in another written reply to the House, Shukla said, “several steps have been undertaken to address the slowdown in GDP (gross domestic product) growth, including the setting of cabinet committee on investment to fast-track large infrastructure projects, strengthening of financial and banking sector and steps to increase infrastructure financing."

In its advance estimates, Central Statistics Office (CSO) has pegged the economic growth in the current fiscal at 4.9% which would be slightly higher than 4.5% achieved in 2011-12.

According to the statement, the approach to the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) had envisaged 9% annual average economic growth rate which was later fixed at 8% by the National Development Council (NDC) in December 2012 while approving the five-year policy. These growth targets for the 12th Plan would be reassessed in the mid-term appraisal of the five-year policy in 2014-15.

In the backdrop of lower economic growth rates of 4.5% in first year of 12th Plan (2012-13) and 4.9% in second year (2013-14), the annual average economic growth rate target for the entire five-year policy could be revised downwards.

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