Plan panel wants easing of FDI norms to goad growth

State of economy: Tune up policies to woo investments

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flanked by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the full Planning Commission meeting, in New Delhi, on Thursday. PTI

"Tune-up FDI and trade policies to attract quality investment in critical areas", the Commission said in a presentation before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the meeting of the full Plan panel here.

Regretting that manufacturing performance has remained “weak,” the Commission said India needs to target a growth of 11-12 per cent in this sector in the 12th Plan (2012-17).

Infrastructure bottlenecks

It also noted that infrastructure constraints were major problems. During the presentation, Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia cautioned manufacturing was not promising desirable outcome and it can have cascading affect unless new initiatives are taken to catalyse this sector.

The Plan panel said that the country’s economic growth during the current Plan period (2007-12) is likely to average 8.2 per cent. This is lower than the original target of 9 per cent growth set for the 11th Plan.

However, the Planning Commission termed the 8.2 per cent growth as “still remarkable” in view of the global economic downturn during the period.

While outlining issues on approach to the 12th Plan the full Planning Commission at its meeting chaired by the Prime Minister unanimously agreed to re-design socio-economic developmental projects undertaken by the government keeping people’s concern over corruption and quality of governance.

“The focus of the 12th Plan will be to ensure inclusive growth with benefits reaching the people at large through focus on governance reforms while aiming to attain 9 to 9.5 per cent growth during the plan period,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told newspersons while briefing on outcome of meeting of full Plan Panel.

Asked whether the Plan Panel took note of possibility of corruption coming in the way of effective implementation of socio-economic developmental projects, Ahluwalia said “corruption is a big issue. We are quite serious about improving transparency at all levels of  implementation. For this a high-powered committee headed by Chief Economic Adviser in Finance Ministry Kaushi Basu will be constituted to provide the input on how to mobilize resources for the funding of the 12th Plan keeping fiscal consolidation in mind.

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