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Indian economy to grow 8.5 per cent next fiscal: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that the Indian economy would grow at 8.5 percent during the next fiscal.

Inaugurating a conference on building infrastructure hosted by the Planning Commission here, Dr Singh said: “Despite adverse global situation, the Indian economy grew by 6.7 percent during fiscal 2008-09, and it has accelerated to 7.2 per cent in the fiscal year which is about to end in a few days time.”

“These rates are well above those seen in the developed world, and reflect the underlying strengths of our economy. We expect to achieve 8.5 per cent growth rate in 2010-11 and I hope we can achieve a growth rate of nine per cent in 2011-12,” he added.

He further said that investment in infrastructure should be doubled to about Rs 41 lakh crore during the 12th Five Year Plan ending 2017 from the prevailing level, and directed concerned authorities to work out the details.

“Preliminary exercises suggest that investment in infrastructure will have to expand to 1,000 billion dollars in the 12th Five Year Plan,” he said.

“I urged the Finance Ministry and the Planning Commission to draw a plan of action for achieving this level of investment,” he added.

“We also need to review the approach that should guide our regulatory institutions in different sectors. I have asked Planning Commission to prepare a draft bill outlining the next stage of regulatory reform,” he said.

Dr Singh said growth rate of ten per cent looked ambitious, but it was not impossible and was something that had indeed been achieved by some emerging economies.

“For this we will make continued improvements in our policy regime and in our implementation procedures,” he added

He further said that the Eleventh Plan had estimated that we would need to invest over Rs.20 lakh crore in infrastructure over the five year period. This was more than double the realised investment during the Tenth Five Year Plan.

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