Indian prime minister calls 8-percent economic growth target 'ambitious'
AFPNEW DELHI -- India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh played down hopes Thursday for the once-booming economy's performance, saying achieving annual eight percent growth to 2017 would be an “ambitious” achievement.
December 28, 2012, 12:57 am TWN
Singh's muted expectations come after the government earlier this month cut its growth forecast to just under 6 percent for this financial year — putting Asia's third-largest economy on track for its worst annual showing in a decade.
“Achieving a target of 8 percent growth, following less than six percent in the first year, is still an ambitious target,” he told state chief ministers meeting in New Delhi to review the government's 2012-2017 economic plan.
Despite moves to liberalize its economy, India still runs on five-year plans based on the former Soviet Union's central planning model.
Much of the world would envy even six percent growth. But the pace is not enough for New Delhi, which says it needs at least 9-to-10 percent expansion to significantly cut poverty and create jobs for a soaring young workforce.