The government on Tuesday said it is focusing on putting the economy back on the 9 per cent growth trajectory from 7.4 per cent during 2009-10 and then further pushing it to double digits.
“I will not say we are still out of woods... The immediate task before us (the government) is to quickly revert to the GDP growth path of 9 per cent and then find the means to cross the double-digit growth barrier,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at an event organised by UTI here.
He said in a span of 12-18 months, India had to face a crisis of commodity prices, a crisis in energy prices, the financial meltdown and the adverse impact of a drought.
“Fortunately, thanks to you who are present here, entrepreneurs, bankers, captains of industry, and the right kind of policy decisions by both government and the RBI, it was possible for us to overcome the crisis,” the Finance Minister said.
Indian economic growth slowed down considerably after the global economic crisis deepened around the middle of September, 2008. Economic growth declined to 6.7 per cent during 2008-09, against 9 per cent growth in the previous three years.
After the government provided a stimulus to the economy by cutting taxes and increasing public expenditure, economic growth accelerated to 7.4 per cent last fiscal. This year, the government expects the Indian economy to expand by 8.5 per cent, despite a partial rollback of stimulus.
Effective mobilisation of savings and channelising them into investment is necessary for sustainable growth, he said.
In order to ensure inclusive growth, there is a need to ensure participation of small and marginal savers in the capital markets, the minister said.
The government proposes to enact a National Food Security Act which envisages that every citizen below the poverty line will be entitled to highly subsidised food grains, he said.
During 2009-10, 4.34 crore households were provided employment under the NREGA, with a government outlay of Rs. 25,000 crore, Mukherjee said.