New Delhi: The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said that it is not possible for India to achieve the 7.6 per cent growth target set earlier this year. His statement assumes significance in light of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh taking over the Finance Ministry.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, Montek said that it was more realistic to expect and 6.5-7 per cent GDP growth, adding that it was imperative to restore faith in India's growth story.
Below is the edited transcript of the excerpt from the interview:
Karan Thapar: Many people believe that 7.6 per cent is perhaps unrealistic...
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: No, we are not going to get 7.6 per cent.
Karan Thapar: We are not going to get 7.6 per cent... You are absolutely clear about that?
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: I am... It's not a forecast that I am making... My own guess is, look, I think the best hope we have for the current year, given the slowdown that's occured... the economy could grow somehwere between 6.5 to 7 per cent, depending on what's going to happen in the next six months... I don't think 7.5 per cent is possible... We should assume that the growth would be lower.
Karan Thapar: Mr Ahluwalia, after taking charge of the Finance Ministry, the PM spoke of reviving animal spirits, restoring investors' sentiments and reviving the climate of pessimism. Does that mean that it is imperative for the government to act decisively and quickly?
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: Absolutely. That's exactly what the PM meant and I think that is what we should do.
Karan Thapar: Is that a hint or not that this is a serious situation?
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: It is true. For us to blame the world is totally wrong. A lot of things domestically need to be corrected and I think that is what we should concentrate upon.