India to achieve double digit growth in XI plan, check leakages: FM

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New Delhi, Dec 1 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram today asserted that the government planned to get faster and inclusive growth during the Eleventh Plan period by giving major boost to agricultural production and industrial growth but cautioned against leakages and corruption in implemenation of various schemes.

Mr Chidambaram was replying to the debate on 'The Appropriation (No 4) Bill, 2007 and the Appropriation (No 5) Bill 2007 which was passed by the Rajya Sabha and returned to the Lok Sabha, which has already passed the Bills.

Asserting that opening of the economy has paid rich dividends for the country with growth rate increasing from below 5 per cent to about 9 per cent now, he welcomed the present discontent with even 9 per cent growth rate, saying the government planned to increase it to 10 per cent during the eleventh plan period. He, however, agreed with the members that certain sectors of economy needed regulators but said for that the economy needed to be opened to achieve high growth targets.

The Finance Minister, however, cautioned members that while holding the government accountable for any failure in implementing the policy of inclusive growth, they should not criticise the growth itself as increased economic growth only enables the government to provide more funds, grants and loans to states which could be used for providing drinking water, road and electricity to the people.

Economic growth at higher rate is generating larger income for more people who paid more taxes which the Centre shared with states and it was for the latter to apply this money to the people's welfar, he said.

Pointing out that the goal of double digit growth during the Eleventh Plan could not be achieved without raising the growth of the agriculture sector upto 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent, Mr Chidambaram said a number of schemes like the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna of Rs 25,000 crore has been launched along with the Food Security Mission.

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