Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently said the country could have the world’s third largest GDP by 2025 if it maintains its present growth rate.
Singh conceded that the target of nine percent growth for the next five years was ‘very ambitious’ given the current state of the global economy.
Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, the prime minister cautioned that while the ‘rosy future’ was within the nation’s reach, it was not an assured outcome.
Manmohan Singh, who is regarded as the architect of India’s economic reforms for having initiated them as finance minister between 1991 and 1996, said the reforms programme had courted controversy in the early years but all regimes at the centre had carried them forward.
‘There have been differences of emphasis but the direction has remained the same. Most state governments have also acted in the same spirit.
‘Because of our gradualist approach, it took time for the economic reforms to have an impact. However, it is now clear that their impact has been remarkable.’
‘If we can continue to grow at this rate, we are well positioned to be the country with the third largest GDP in the world by 2025.’
He referred to the nine percent growth target fixed for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), and said: ‘Since we have already achieved about 8.2 percent in the 11th plan period, it may seem that a transition to 9 percent growth is not difficult.’
Singh added, ‘However, it is in fact a very ambitious target given the current global economic situation, which is full of uncertainties about the prospects in industrialised countries and their implications for global capital markets.’
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