New Delhi: Faced with slowdown, the Planning Commission may lower the annual average growth target for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) to 8 percent, down from 9 percent envisaged earlier.
    
"The annual average growth rate in 12th Plan, could be around 8 percent. Achieving 8 percent looks feasible," Planning Minister Ashwani Kumar said.
   
The Commission, he further, held a series of meetings to consider the impact of the global problems on the domestic economy and it was generally agreed that 9 percent growth in the Plan, which began on April 1, 2012, would be difficult.
   
Hit by global woes and domestic problems, India's economic growth rate slowed to a nine-year low, both in the January-March quarter at 5.3 percent as well as in 2011-12 at
6.5 percent. In the current fiscal growth rate has been pegged at 7.6 percent by the government.
    
However, according to Kumar, "the economic growth rate in 2012-13 would be around 7 percent."
    
In the Approach to 12th Plan, the Commission had said, "GDP growth target of 9 percent for the 12th Plan is feasible from a macro-economic perspective ... we should aim for a average 9 percent GDP growth rate in 12th Five Year Plan."
    
In the Approach document, the Commission had projected the growth rate for 2011-12 between 8 to 8.3 percent. On the basis of this projection, it has estimated the annual average growth rate in the 11th Plan of around 8.2 percent.
    
Lower growth rate during 2011-12, the last year of the 11th Plan, would pull down the annual average for the entire five-year period.

(Agencies)

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