Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Is 9% growth feasible in 11th Plan period?

Padmini Swaminathan, Director, MIDS, Chennai
While a 9% growth rate is feasible, what is not comprehensible is how it will ensure inclusiveness. The Approach Paper makes no mention of where the country today stands with respect to the issues of landownership and landless labourers. Secondly, while it emphasizes the significance of prioritizing basic research through, what it calls, ‘properly anticipated identification of strategic research pathways’, it is completely silent on why institutions such as the agricultural universities, created specifically to address and provide region-specific problem solving capcity have failed to deliver. Thirdly, lack of credit at reasonable rates and the problem of indebtedness have not been tackled in spite of their being the subject of several inquiry commissions set up in the past at various points by different central institutions including the RBI.

Ajit Ranade, Group Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group
The biggest capital spending that we need from the government is in formation of human capital. Three distinct trends that have emerged in the agriculture and rural economy:
1. Rabi crop (spring harvest) has become as important as the kharif crop.
2. Non-food is as important as food crop.
3. Non-farm exceeds farm output in rural areas.