GDP growth rate can be sustained at 9 pc: PM

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India could maintain its high economic growth at 9 per cent even if there was ''turbulence'' in global markets as ''our own effort and potential'' were sufficient to sustain it.

''It is our responsibility today to ensure that uncertainty in the global system does not harm our growth process. A large continental economy like ours can sustain fairly high rates of growth based on the stable and sustained growth of the home market, even if there is turbulence in global markets,'' Dr Singh said.

His comments assume significance in the light of fears of a possible recession in the United States threatening to hit the country's economy.

Addressing a function held at his official residence here to release a book ''Business Standard India 2008,'' he said the government had unleashed the creative energy of the people and that was contributing to the acceleration of economic growth.

The Gross Investment Ratio had now touched an ''all time peak'' of almost 36 per cent of GDP and this represented the underlying dynamism of the economy.

''It also represents a vote of confidence in our policies and in the prospects for India. I am convinced that at current rates of saving and investment, we will sustain close to 9 per cent economic growth in the medium term.'' He said in the years to come, India and China would be viewed as the new growth engines of the world economy. ''We are not yet there, but we will be. We can certainly sustain much better domestic performance based on our own effort and potential. Our macro-economic policies are aimed at ensuring this.'' However, sustained development was not like going to a free dinner party. ''We need to pursue sound macro-economic policies designed to raise savings, investment and productivity.'' The government's objective was to ensure that the growth process was inclusive, in all domensions, and could be sustained while holding inflation under check. ''It has been our endeavour to ensure that inflation does not get out of control. It has been our endeavour to ensure the long term stability of the growth process, rather than seek short term gains that may have socially and politically destabilising consequences.'' UNI SN MSJ KN2042

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