Bloomberg News

Singh Sees India Returning to a 9% Long-Term Growth Rate

December 14, 2011

(Updates with share reaction in fifth paragraph.)

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his nation’s economy will return to a long-term growth pace of 9 percent as inflation slows and the government extends a record of market-opening policies.

“We will stay the course,” Singh said in his office in Parliament House in New Delhi today. “We will make India an eminently bankable and creditworthy economy.”

Gross domestic product will increase 7.5 percent in the fiscal year that ends March 31, while inflation will cool to between 6 percent and 7 percent, Singh said. The slide in the rupee won’t diminish investor confidence, he said.

The prime minister said he expects to succeed in his push to open India’s retail market to foreign companies after regional elections conclude by the end of March 2012. The benchmark Sensitive Index of stocks had its biggest three-day drop since July 2009 after his administration suspended the opening of foreign-direct investment into the retail industry.

Indian retailer Shoppers Stop Ltd. shares reached their high of the day after Singh’s pledge on opening the industry to foreign investment. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Tesco Plc are among overseas companies that have pushed to enter Asia’s third- largest economy.

The rupee pared losses, and was at 53.66 per dollar as of 3:38 p.m. in Mumbai.

--Editors: Chris Anstey, Adrian Kennedy

To contact the reporters on this story: Unni Krishnan in New Delhi at ukrishnan2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net


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