India's growth would transform economy in 15 years: Krishna

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Singapore, Mar 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna on Friday said that India's present speed of growth would qualitatively transform its economy and society in 15 years.

Addressing the non-resident Indians (NRI) and people of Indian origin (PIO) in Singapore, Krishna said: "More than ever before, we (India) are poised for a growth spurt which over the next decade and a half will qualitatively transform our economy and society."

Explaining the growth of Indian economy, Krishna said the fiscal year 2009-10 was a challenging year for the Indian economy.

"The significant deceleration in the second half of 2008-09 on account of global financial crisis and economic recession brought the real GDP growth down to 6.7 per cent, from an average of over 9 per cent in the preceding three years," Krishna said.

"It was also a year of reckoning for the policymakers, who had taken a calculated risk in providing substantial fiscal expansion to counter the negative fallout of the global slowdown," he added.

Krishna further elaborated that a delayed and severely subnormal monsoon added to the overall uncertainty.

"Yet, over the span of the year, the economy posted a remarkable recovery, not only in terms of overall growth figures, with the advance estimates placing the likely growth for 2009-10 at 7.2 per cent, but, more importantly, in terms of certain fundamentals, which justify optimism for the Indian economy in the medium to long term," Krishna said.

Recalling India's exemplary and excellent bilateral relations with Singapore, Krishna said both countries are committed to take their relations to even greater heights.

"Our bilateral relations are not only civilizational, but also modern and contemporary, covering areas such as investment, trade, financial services, etc," he said.

"At the leadership level, we have a consensus that the potential to develop our relations to even greater heights is immense in all fields of bilateral relations," Krishna added.

Krishna further asked Indians in Singapore to contribute positively for the development of that country which would reflect on bilateral relations.

"Your achievements and attainments reflect positively on India and you. Both brand a new India as also add cement to the India-Singapore bilateral relationship. What is most gratifying is that your diversity reflects the full range of our pluralistic society," he said.

"Every overseas Indian is a representative of India. As an overseas community you have made a distinctive contribution by virtue of your dedication, hard work and success," Krishna added.

The External Affairs Minister highlighted that India is fortunate to have in Singapore a representative and gifted cross section of its own society.

He also expressed happiness over growing social exchanges and tourism traffic between India and Singapore.

"I believe that visa on arrival scheme for Singapore nationals coming to India for tourism will prove popular. I believe that air connectivity between different cities in India and Singapore has expanded dramatically," he said.

During his stay in Singapore, Krishna had a series of meetings with a number of Singapore's leaders and exchange views on bilateral relations as also on the regional and international ituation. (ANI)

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