Sound financial system need of the hour; Montek

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia says that the development of a sound and matured financial system was absolutely esential to cater to the growing needs of the fast growing Indian economy, with attention being now directed at strengtheing of the corporate bond market.

''The financing requirements of the economy can only be met if there is a healthy financial system in place," Dr Ahluwalia said in his address last evening to the 80th AGM of FICCI.

He exuded confidence that the Commission's target of 9 per cent average GDP growth in the Eleventh plan would be met as the economy has developed strong growth impulses.

He said the Indian economy has enough resilience to weather the storm of the current global economic slowdown.

The theme of Dr Ahluwalia's address was 'Double Digit Growth : The Way Forward.' Dr Ahluwalia said agriculture growth holds the key to accelerating and sustaining GDP growth. This, he suggested, could come about through the adoption of best farm management practices like precision farming, transfer of technology to farmers, diversification of cropping patterns, emphasis on horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries and reforms in marketing of agri-produce.

Dr Ahluwalia also spoke about the important role in a democracy like India of civil society organisations in ensuring effective implementation of various programmes and schemes of the government at grassroots level.

He suggested to the Federation to develop practical public-private partnership (PPP) models in important areas such as education.

Dr Ahluwalia also stressed the need for revisiting the higher education system to make it more efficient.

Earlier, FICCI President Habil Khorakiwala highlighted the mismatch between the resources allocated for public expenditure and the attendant benefits.

Mr Khorakiwala called for effective implementation of various initiatives taken by the government, which hold the key to growth.

UNI GS RL BD1825

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