"AGRICULTURE GROWTH KEY TO SUSTAIN 9% GDP GROWTH IN"
AGRICULTURE GROWTH KEY TO SUSTAIN 9% GDP GROWTH IN 11TH PLAN, SAYS MONTEK NEW DELHI, February 16, 2008. Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, has expressed confidence that the Commission’s target of 9% average GDP growth in the 11th plan would be met despite concerns over the current global economic slowdown. Addressing the plenary session on the “Double Digit Growth : The Way Forward” at the 80th AGM of FICCI on Friday evening, Mr. Ahluwalia emphasized the need for evolving a healthy financial system, especially the corporate bond market, to take care of the financial requirement of the growing Indian economy. Agriculture growth, he said, held the key to accelerate and sustain GDP growth. This, he suggested, could come about through the adoption of best farm management practices like precision farming, transfer of technology to farmers, diversification of cropping pattern, emphasis on horticulture, dairy, poultry and fishery and reforms in marketing of agri-produce. Mr Ahluwalia also spoke about the important role, civil society organizations and NGOs could play to ensure effective implementation of various programmes and schemes of the government at the grassroots level. He urged FICCI to develop practical public-private partnership (PPP) models in important areas such as education. He also emphasized the need for reviewing the higher education system to make it more efficient. Earlier, Mr Habil Khorakiwala, President FICCI, highlighted the mismatch between the resources allocated for public expenditure and the attendant benefits. He emphasized the need for the effective implementation of various initiatives taken by the government. Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI, spoke about some of the initiatives the FICCI was taking on areas like corporate social responsibility and higher education. MEDIA DIVISION