Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday sought to allay fears of a slowdown saying that the country's growth drivers remain intact and the government was committed to carrying out the necessary policy reforms. “Though there is some slowdown in industrial growth, partly due to the base effect from the previous year, the growth drivers of the Indian economy remain broadly intact,” he said.

Mr. Mukherjee was addressing a seminar on international taxation laws organised by the Finance Ministry and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) here. He pointed out that although industrial growth slowed down to 6.3 per cent (with 2004-05 as base year) in April 2011 as compared to an expansion of 13.1 per cent in the same month last year, the medium-term growth prospects for the economy remain buoyant. “I am confident that we are in a position to sustain high economic growth in the coming years and create a more inclusive outcome of our society,” he said.

Setting a growth target of 9-9.5 per cent during the XII Plan (2012-17), Mr. Mukherjee said, “It would imply raising the average growth rate by at least one percentage point from 8.2 per cent, likely to be realised in the XI Plan”.

Pointing to the government's commitment to policy reforms, he said: “Major steps have been taken to simplify and place the administrative procedures concerning taxation, trade and traffic and social transfers on electronic interface, free of discretion and bureaucratic delays”.

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