India and China overcome global recession: Chidambaram

India and China overcome global recession: Chidambaram

"Banks in United States collapsed like a house of cards during the period of international financial crisis. Banks collapsed in Europe also. Many other countries witnessed negative growth. Among larger nations, China and India did not witness negative growth during the period," Chidambaram said here today.

Chidambaram, also the former Union Finance Miister, was addressing 'Kerala Development Congress', a  four-day development seminar organised by Kerala Pradesh  Congress Committee (KPCC) sponsored Ragjiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies.

"Many countries in Europe like Iceland became bankrupt. Spain and Ireland were on the verge of bankruptcy. The countries like US, France,Russia and Japan witnessed negative growth. Even Singapore had negaive growth for one year," Chidambaram said.

Between 2004 and 2008, India had witnessed an average growth rate of 8.5 per cent. Amidst financial crisis, the country's economy grew by 6.7 per cent. While 1000 banks collapsed in US, no bank or financial institution collapsed in India.

"During 2009-10, Indian economy rebounded to 8 per cent. I will not be surprised if it (economy) grow by 9 per cent," he said. Chidambaram said private sector has a key role to play in the development of the country and can bring competitiveness in the public sector.

He said the country has achieved tremendous growth in the sectors like infrastructure, software, steel, mining and materials. "Growth is not an end but a mean to grow. It should be inclusive and benefits should be shared to all sections of society. For that, socially inclusive programmes should be implemented," Chidambaram said.

On Kerala's economy, Union Home minister said, Kerala should create a climate for investment. "There is no climate here to promote investments. Investors shy away from Kerala. The state's fiscal position is also not satisfactiry. Even the state entrepreneurs like to go out and invest in other places," Chidambaram said.

He said majority of industrial and developmental programmes implemented in the state were based on the funds and assistance of central government. The state's debt and borrowing rates were also very high, the minister said. However, he hailed remarkable achivements in the social indicators of Kerala. "The state has high literacy rate, extremely high health  indics and low infant mortality rate. By and large, Kerala is a pluralistic society and a shining example of pluralism and secularism," Chidambaram said.

KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala, state Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac and Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani were among those attended the seminar.

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