Pune: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday indicated that ‘external deterioration’ could have a bearing on the country's projected 9 percent economic growth during the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Ahluwalia, who was addressing a convention of Indian Economics Association here, said India might not have good exports market and ‘external deterioration’ could lead to a balance of payment problem.

Dwelling at the eurozone and US financial crisis, Ahluwalia posed a question, "Is external environment going to be conducive to achieve nine percent growth (in the 12th five year plan)?" and said that it also depended on factors such as capital, labour and productivity as well as improvement in public savings.

He also called for reduction in ‘dysfunctional subsidies’ (excluding food) and pointed out that the energy subsidy (on gas, diesel etc) was very high.

"We should cautiously liberalise our financial sector and pursue market-based efficiency diligently to achieve our targets," he said.

Eminent economist Amartya Sen, who addressed the convention, noted that India has to "cultivate democratic engagement in demanding universal health care to remedy its long standing neglect".

 He pointed out that China had a considerably higher proportion of people (close to 90 percent) with guaranteed health care.

(Agencies)