New Delhi: Achieving nine percent annual growth rate target for the 12th Plan is not feasible in the difficult global environment and even 8-8.5 percent is an "ambitious" goal which will require massive reforms, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Thursday.

"Realistically thinking.. nine percent growth over next five year (in 12th Plan) simply not feasible," Ahluwalia said on Thursday.

He said while he would not lower the growth target for the 12 Plan (2012-17) as set out in the Approach Paper,as an economist,achieving it would not be feasible
"I won't lower the growth projections between 8 to 8.5 percent (in 12th Plan), which in current global context is a not comfortable achievement in the five-year period."

He also said that the average growth rate during the first two years of the 12th Plan would be around 7 percent as the economy would grow by 6.5 to 7 percent this fiscal and about 0.75 percent more in 2013-14.

The Commission had set a target of nine percent average annual growth target in its Approach to the 12th Plan, which was approved by the NDC headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after taking all chief ministers and cabinet ministers on board in October last year.

With the economic growth touching a nine-year low of 6.5 percent for 2011-12 and poor industrial expansion 0.1 percent in April, it was being debated whether the Planning Commission would downsize its target for the 12th Plan.

While Ahluwalia did not hint at revision of the growth target, as an economist he believes the government has to do a lot of reforms and take policy measures to achieve 8 to 8.5 percent average growth in 12th Plan which too is "ambitious".

Even as feasible growth projections for the 12th Plan at the time of drafting the Approach Paper were 7.8 to 8 percent, the Commission suggested the nine percent target for the five year period.


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