Plan panel sees subdued growth

Calls for effective economic management to minimise impact of drought

The full Planning Commission at its meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that in the face of worsening drought management of inflation in the course of current fiscal would pose challenges.

Singh, while winding up the discussion noted with concern “we have to pay careful attention to management of the food economy and the overall macro economy.”

Though the panel was meant to discuss the sate of economy and pending issue in energy policy, the deliberations primarily focused in detail on the drought.  

Briefing reporters Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said “considering the fact the current year is facing drought like situation  the meeting endorsed the projection of 6.3 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current fiscal 2009-10. This is based on the assumption that agricultural growth rate would fall by 2.5 per cent.”

Asked whether the likely impact of drought on price rise was discussed, he said they took note that drought could put pressure on inflation. Earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while taking the overview of the economy noted with optimism that the global economic downturn, which had affected Indian economy as well, was now coming to an end with slow return to normalcy.

Food stocks
“Our food stocks are very high. The government is giving focused attention to all aspects of drought management,” he asserted.

In response to apprehension raised by the Plan panel about expected Rs 1,60,000 crore resource gap for Eleventh Plan Singh said “we all have to give careful thought to various suggestions made for raising additional resources.”

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