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November 9, 2009

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India pushes with revamp for 7% GDP growth

THE Indian government is pushing ahead with economic reforms aimed at achieving a growth rate of more than 7 percent next year but will make sure the benefits reach the poor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday.

India's gross domestic product is set to grow 6.5 percent this year despite inadequate monsoon rains that caused agricultural output to dip, Singh said at a three-day India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum.

"There are clearly signs of an upturn in the economy. With a normal monsoon next year, we hope to achieve a growth rate of over 7 percent," Singh said.

Singh was India's finance minister in the early 1990s and was the prime architect of economic reforms that propelled the country on its current growth trajectory.

India has fared better than most countries in the ongoing global economic downturn, Singh said.

He said the government will now focus on accelerating the pace of economic reform, opening up key areas such as the finance sector.

However, the government will ensure that the benefits of the policies reach the poorer sections of society, he said.

The emphasis will be on creating jobs and raising rural living standards, he said.


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