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Eight per cent growth several years away, will take tough decisions: IMF


It will take India some tough decisions and several years before it can think of going back to a growth era of 8 per cent and more, which was an easy walk through till a few years ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. "To go back to 8 per cent (annual growth rate) India need to see move on a lot of fronts and investment picking up very robustly".

"It will depend very much on whether the government can deliver on all the reforms that they have committed to and sustain this reform momentum," Laura Papi, IMF assistant director, formerly with its Asia and Pacific department, said on Wednesday.

"We think that an important array of reforms are needed to get back to 8 per cent growth including the legislative moves. The land acquisition Bill requires, of course, parliamentary approval, the GST requires even a constitutional amendment, etc. Labor laws are even further out and less likely," she said in response to a question.

The IMF had yesterday said India's growth rate is expected to drop to 5.4 per cent in 2012-13 from 6.5 per cent the previous year. This is a substantial drop from the impressive growth rate of an average of 8.3 per cent India registered between 2004 and 2011.

"Outlook is for subdued growth and a fairly modest recovery for this year still accompanied by quite high inflation and elevated current deficit. The reason for this outlook is that the investment has slowed significantly and we see some supply-side issues such as supply bottlenecks as having played an important part in lower investment growth and because of this we have also revised down our medium-term growth projection," she said.

Appreciative of the recent steps taken by the government, she said the key would be on their sustained implementation.

Responding to a question, Ms Papi said there is no silver bullet or one reform that would boost India's economic growth. "But the key ones are to solve the problems in the power sector and even there it is not a matter of one reform, but is a matter of several different measures," she said.

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