India needs to target double digit growth: Jaitley

Washington, April 16:

To reap the dividend of India’s “major demographic shift”, the country has to target a double digit growth rate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

“India is on the brink of a major demographic shift, with the proportion of working-age population between 15 and 59 years likely to increase from 58 percent in 2001 to more than 64 percent by 2021, adding approximately 63.5 million new entrants to the working age group between 2011 and 2016,” he said.

Addressing a conference here organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, Jaitley said: “India’s own normal in terms of its growth rate has to target anything close to a double digit. India growing at five percent, six percent or even seven percent is not an India that is going to face up this challenge.”

“India has the potential to make 9-10 percent its new normal in the years to come,” he added.

The finance minister is in the US to attend the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

India’s economy will outpace China’s for the first time since 1999 this year according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday.

India’s GDP growth will climb to 7.5 percent, its fastest pace in five years, from 7.2 percent in 2014, the report said.

India is forecast to grow between 8.1 percent to 8.5 percent in 2015-16, based on a new methodology announced this year by the Central Statistics Office. (IANS)

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