11th Plan to target 10 per cent growth
New Delhi, October 18
“The 11th Plan is going to be a historic plan in many ways. This is the first time since the planning process began that we will be aiming for a growth rate of 10 per cent in the final years of the Plan,” Prime Minister said while chairing the Planning Commission meeting called to consider the Draft Approach Paper to the 11th Plan.
The Approach Paper will now be submitted in the National Development Council (NDC) by December to get approval of the state governments before the implementation of the Plan.
Asserting that 11th Plan could not have expected a better start, Prime Minister said: “The savings rate is 29 per cent and the investment rate is close to 31 per cent. FDI flows are buoyant and increasing and India is becoming an increasingly attractive investment destination.”
Allaying fears about the fiscal position, he said: “Infrastructure development is a major constraint on our industrial growth.” He added that the country would need Rs 14 lakh crore by 2012 for this sector.
He said some of the investment in infrastructure would have to come from the private sector.
Admitting the failure of the 10th Plan to meet agricultural growth and poverty eradication targets, he cautioned: “Poverty is falling but not fast enough. The current consumption poverty rates of over 20 per cent are simply not acceptable in this high growth scenario.”
Concerned with the failure of the country to meet agricultural growth target of 4 per cent in 10th Plan, Prime Minister noted that the agricultural growth at less than 2 per cent was an area of concern and the root cause of rural distress.
Employment must be the other cornerstone of the 11th Plan, he said while proposing to set up mission on vocational training and skill development.
The Approach Paper has set an annual growth target for the farm sector of 3.9 per cent, 9.9 per cent for the industry, and 9.4 per cent for the services sector, and an average GDP growth of 9 per cent during the Plan period.
The paper added exports need to grow by 16 per cent a year and imports by 12.1 per cent, and the current account deficit must be reined in at 2.6 per cent of the GDP during the next five-year period.
Dr Singh praised the Approach Paper for highlighting an inclusive growth strategy and said: “We need faster growth to raise the material well being of the population and also to generate resources for our development programmes.”
Saying that education was the greatest equaliser, Dr Singh said much more was needed to be done in this area at all levels.
He hoped that by the end of the 11th Plan, secondary and higher education segments would receive as much attention-financial and institutional - as being given to elementary education at present.
“Public private partnership (PPP) was needed to supplement the public sector effort,” he said.
Later briefing the reporters, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the during the Plan period, “we hope that inflation rate would be moderate around 4 per cent.”
What 11th Plan wants to achieve