Free Press Journal

New plan panel to decide on growth revision: Ahluwalia


New Delhi: The Planning Commission chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday discued the mid-term appraisal of the 12th Plan period but did not take any decision on lowering the growth target, leaving it for the new panel that will be formed after the general elections.

Talking to reporters after the meeting at Yojana Bhawan here, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the decision on revision of growth rate should be taken by the new commission.

The Planning Commission has set a target of 8 percent economic expansion for the 12th Five Year Plan period that runs from fiscal 2012-13 to 2016-17.

The target does not look feasible as growth in the first two years was recorded below 5 percent. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a sluggish 4.5 percent in 2012-13, the first year of the 12th five year plan period.

For fiscal 2013-14, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has pegged the growth at 4.9 percent. Now the economy must grow at an average of above 10 percent to achieve the 8 percent target for the whole plan period.

Ahluwalia said economic growth in the coming years will depend on the policies of the new government that will come into power after the general election.

“In the current year 2014-15 everybody expects that the Indian economy will get better, but that depends on the policies the new government follows,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the Manmohan Singh said India’s development story is a work in progress and a lot needed to be done.

Singh also emphasised on the need for making the commission more relevant in the changed global economic scenario.

“With an increasingly open and liberalised economy with a greater reliance on market mechanisms, we need to reflect on what the role of the Planning Commission needs to be in this new world,” the prime minister said.

This was probably be the last meeting of the plan panel under the chairmanship of Manmohan Singh.

The Planning Commission is an advisory body chaired by the prime minister. The term of the panel is co-terminus with the government. The general election is underway and Manmohan Singh has already ruled himself out of the race to head the new government.