Eight percent GDP growth achievable: President

Kolkata, Dec 12 (IANS) Stating the nation could achieve an eight percent GDP growth rate, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday praised the Narendra Modi government’s initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Make in India and Digital India which have made various countries now consider India as an attractive investment destination.

“Various countries today consider India an attractive investment destination because of political stability and government’s new initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, etc,” Mukhereje said, inaugurating the 185th Anniversary Celebrations of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce.

He said the country has witnessed a period of high growth, particularly in the middle years of last decade.

“Though the tempo could not be maintained thereafter, we did have good years of growth. This was despite the fact that prolonged global economic slowdown had affected the growth performance of all major economies. Barring a below five percent growth in 2012-13, our economic growth in all other years has been not less than 6.6 percent”

Mukherjee said for bettering the economic performance, a re-energized manufacturing sector was crucial.

“During the years 2005-06 to 2007-08 when our economy grew by more than nine percent, exports grew in excess of 20 percent in each of these years.

“Though exports have come down in the last three years, the import bill has also reduced because of the decline in oil prices.

“This has helped to keep the current account deficit at a manageable level of 1.4 percent last year. Foreign exchange reserves at $353 billion as of end October are also at comfortable levels giving us a cushion to meet any crisis.”

“An eight percent GDP growth rate is achievable by India if we make united efforts in this direction,” he said.

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