10:19 pm - Saturday November 7, 2015

India poised for 6.5% growth: Jaitley

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The economy is set to clock a 6.5 per cent growth next year and then take off to reach 8-9 per cent in the years to come on the back of huge public support for reforms initiated by the government, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

“There is a huge amount of popular support, particularly in the backdrop of slowdown in the last two years, that we must grow.

“There is fair amount of clarity about the road map which is required for that growth. Therefore, I don’t think there is any resistance as far as bureaucracy is concerned to the reform process, but the bureaucracy has long been made whipping boys for it,” he said, while speaking at a BRICS session at the World Economic Forum annual meet.

Mr. Jaitley said the manner in which the new government was working, the country would reach 6.5 per cent growth rate next year and “I think that is where the take off will start.”

Observing that there was also a change of mindset with the change of the government, he said, “Even if this year [2014-15] we end with about 5.5 per cent growth rate, which is okay by global standards, India is not smiling at this growth rate.”

The Minister said 5.5 per cent growth was much below the real capacity of India and the target was to get back to 8-9 per cent growth rate “which is more natural to India and I think we have the potential to do that.”

India’s economic growth fell to below five per cent during 2012-13 and 2013-14. During the current financial year, the country’s economy is expected to recover and clock a growth rate of 5.5 per cent.

The world is showing interest in India which had earlier fallen off the global radar, he said, adding the government and policymakers were working to consolidate on these gains and sentiments.

Mr. Jaitley is scheduled to present the Union budget for 2015-16 on February 28 in the Lok Sabha.

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