Government taking measures to spur investment: PM

Greater Noida, May 4 (IANS) The government is taking measures to spur investment and accelerate economic growth to 8 percent from the sluggish nearly 5 percent recorded in 2012-13, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday.

“India has set itself a target of over 8 percent annual growth in our 12th Five Year Plan, which runs from 2012 to 2017. This is the rate of growth the country achieved over the past decade,” he said at the inaugural of the 46th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) board of governors here.

“We are initiating measures to spur investment and to make India more attractive to investors both at home and abroad,” he said. “We have taken steps to fast track major infrastructure projects.”

Low investment is one of the major reasons behind the recent slowdown in the economic growth. India’s GDP growth is estimated to have slumped to nearly 5 percent in the financial year ended March 31, the slowest in more than a decade.

The prime minister said his government had also introduced strong measures to achieve fiscal consolidation.

The country’s current account deficit has surged to a record high, and fiscal deficit is expected to be at around 5.2 of the GDP in 2012-13.

In the current financial year, fiscal deficit is estimated to decline to 4.8 percent of the GDP.

Manmohan Singh said that despite the recent slowdown, India and other developing countries remained the engine of global growth.

Referring to the IMF estimates, the prime minister said the advanced developed economies were expected to grow at 1.2 percent while developing Asia was expected to grow more than five times faster at 7.1 percent in 2013.

“The Asian region is expected to play a crucial role in driving and stabilizing the global recovery process,” he said.

“At Purchasing Power Parity, emerging economies accounted for 80 percent of the world growth in 2012, with emerging Asia accounting for a majority of it and China and India accounting for 35 percent and 10 percent of world growth respectively. This trend is only likely to continue in the years to come,” the prime minister added.

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