'Economy will bounce back to 8% growth'

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday exuded confidence that the Indian economy will bounce back to 8 per cent growth levels and said engineering sector could play a vital role in propelling it.

"Though our economic growth has recently declined somewhat, I am confident that we will be able to bring the deceleration to a halt and revert to the eight per cent growth levels that we attained many times in the past," Mukherjee said inaugurating the 20th International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF) by CII.

The underline growth impetus remains strong due to factors like continued rise in per capita income and expanding middle class consumers, he said adding, engineering sector could facilitate faster economic development.

"Our thrust on infrastructure development and industrial production provided further filip to this (engineering) sector...Large amount of investments is envisaged in the key sectors such as power and transportation," Mukherjee said while calling for private sector investments.  These investments would create opportunities for business operating in the engineering sector, he said.

At the same time he urged the companies to focus on "productivity and competitiveness" saying new operating models were needed to promote the manufacturing sector.

"The contribution of manufacturing to total employment in India is about 11 per cent which is much lower than that of the emerging countries. The shares of the manufacturing in total employment is between 15 to 30 per cent (in those countries)" he said.

Stressing that the National Manufacturing Policy 2011 envisaged creation of 100 million additional jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2025, he said India needed to enhance its "capabilities on major fronts like primarily human skill , hardware and knowledge technology".

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