Economic growth rate poised to reach 9 pc: Chidambaram

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Mumbai, Nov 5 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today forecast the country's economic growth rate would reach pretty close to nine per cent in the financial year 2007-08. To achieve this, the government has undertaken a series of initiatives including implementation of public-private partnership.

Speaking at a function organised by the industry and trade cell of Mumbai Congress unit, Mr Chidambaram urged the industrialists to work together for development. He said the real public-private partnership is the one which has to be initiated together and not by any single authority. However, he lamented that no such efforts were made earlier.

Citing an instance of circle of investment, which starts from investment to job creation and generation of income to saving and again to spend an investment, he said the per capita income at present is 1,000 dollars and it could reach 4,000 dollars by 2025 if the present speed of development was maintained.

''Keep this circle going for another two decades and in 18 years, the country would reach the level of per capita income of 4,000 dollars'' he said.

We have stepped up the investment in various sectors and even now, there is adequate investment in pipeline,'' he added.

Countering the historic statement that India was a land of honey and milk earlier, the Minister said a section of the society enjoyed all privileges, but the masses did not and even now 22 per cent of the population is poor.

''We are doing all efforts to reach to the poor and to all those people who could not get many benefits,'' he said adding that 12 crore students in schools have been given the mid-day meal.

He said there is a huge opportunity for public-private partnership in this sector also.

Speaking about Mumbai, Mr Chidambaram said if the metropolis refurbishes its infrastructure, it would increase the per capita income of the city.

The megapolis is facing competition from other cities like Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Noida, but Mumbai -- the financial capital of the country -- will remain in the forefront, he added.


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