Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister C. Rangarajan on Friday expressed optimism that the economy had the resilience to bounce back to eight to 9 per cent growth rate and asserted that firm action would be taken on the macro-economic and sectoral fronts to achieve this goal.

While the macro-economic issues that needed to be tackled were inflation, fiscal consolidation and the balance of payments deficit, the sectoral concerns that urgently required attention were those governing agriculture and infrastructure, he said.

Dr. Rangarajan was addressing the Chamber Day celebrations of the Hindustan Chamber of Commerce.

Some recent actions by the Centre, especially in improving the investment sentiment, clearly indicated a commitment to taking this road to achieve higher growth rates, he said.

According to Dr. Rangarajan, the new economic policy had nothing that took away the role of the State; it only redefined its charter. The thrust of the policy was on removing entry barriers to improve domestic and international competitiveness of industry.

In his estimation, the growth rate would move closer to about 6 per cent this fiscal, with manufacturing expected to shift gears in the January-March period. “The next fiscal is going to be much better when the full impact of the change in investment sentiment that we are seeing now will manifest and result in private investment picking up,” he said.

N. Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman, Cognizant, who was a special guest, said that while medical technology saw amazing advances over the years, the cost factor remained prohibitive. He called for applying technology for cost targeting, especially in the diagnostics sector that had a pronounced electronic component. Dr. Rangarajan presented the ‘Champion of Humanity’ awards instituted by the Chamber to G.S.K. Velu, Managing Director of Trivitron Group of Companies, and Radhika Santhanakrishnan, founder of Penn Nalam, an NGO that works with women cancer patients.

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