New Delhi, March 24: With the Planning Commission scaling down the 11th Plan growth target to 8.1 per cent from an average annual growth of 9 per cent pegged earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday cautioned that a fast return to the high growth track should not be taken for granted. For, the global environment was “expected to remain difficult in the years that lie ahead.”
Presiding over the full Planning Commission meeting here for a mid-term appraisal of the Five-Year Plan , he said that at a time when “exports are likely to grow slower than they did before the crisis [global meltdown],” the demand booster sector to spur the domestic economy would be infrastructure.
The country, Dr. Singh said, was in need of high investment in infrastructure during the next two years of the Plan period for returning to the high growth path.
Restoration of high growth “should not be taken for granted… We will need another source of demand to offset slower exports growth and that demand should ideally come from expansion in investment in infrastructure…,” he said.
Having set an export target of $200 billion in 2008-09, India ended the fiscal year with $185 billion on account of the shrinking markets following the global meltdown.