India can log 8 pct economic growth rate, says P Chidambaram at World Economic Forum

Jan 23 2014, 22:03 IST
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'If we avoid some of the mistakes that we have made and if we are decisive.' (AP) 'If we avoid some of the mistakes that we have made and if we are decisive.' (AP)
SummaryP Chidambaram: India must be decisive to boost economic growth rate at World Economic Forum meet.

Asserting that reform measures and fast-tracking of the decision making process have yielded results, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said India would certainly return to 8 per cent economic growth rate if past mistakes are not repeated.

"In the last year and a half, we decided that we need to do more and be more decisive...the results are there to see. Our economy has stabilised," P Chidambaram said here.

"Last year I said we will grow by five per cent this year, 6 per cent during the next year and steadily we will move back to 8 per cent growth," he said.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting while addressing a session on BRICS countries, P Chidambaram said: "If we avoid some of the mistakes that we have made and if we are decisive, I have no doubt that in three years we will be back to 8 per cent growth".

The Minister said that income inequality and middle class stagnation are big risks in every country.

On people coming out of poverty, Chidambaram said: "India has done well on this front, while China has also done well.

"It is one of the reasons why food inflation is high in India. Still we want to do many more things to further lower the income inequality...we would like to tax the rich a little more, but since we want to encourage the entrepreneurs to do business, we are going slow on that," Chidambaram said.

Defending the role of the government in economies, Chidambaram said: "When US and European banks were in crisis, the government had to pitch in. There is a role for the state to play. If you look at Indian banking industry, we have got state-run banks, private banks, foreign banks and now we are licensing a few more banks.

"You cannot wish away the role of the state as that is a very important role," he said. Asked to draw a comparison between India and South Africa which is also going to witness elections, Chidambaram said, "South Africa is in a happy position...its dominant political party being in a position to come back to power".

"Similar was the case in India for Congress party till 30 years ago, but today it is difficult...probably no party is in a position to come to power with absolute majority," the Minister said.

"I can't say which party is in a better position, but if you want I can tell

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