Plan panel to peg average growth rate at 8.2-9 pc

New Delhi: Unlike in the previous Five Year Plans, the Planning Commission will refrain from proposing a fixed growth target for the 12th Plan (2012-17) and instead suggest a range of 8.2-9 per cent in view of fragile global recovery.

"The Commission is of the view that annual growth target should range between 8.2 to 9 per cent in the 12th Plan as it will be difficult to achieve 9 per cent," a source privy to the development said.

However, the final call on the issue would be taken at the in-house meeting of the Commission scheduled on Wednesday, the source said.

The source further said the majority of its members are in favour of suggesting a range instead of an economic growth number at the meeting of the full Planning Commission scheduled on September 15. The meeting would be presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Plan document will finally be approved by the country`s apex planning body, the National Development Council (NDC) at a meeting to be convened sometime in October.

During the 11th Five Year Plan, the Commission had proposed a growth target of 9 per cent, which was later approved by NDC. The decision to lower annual growth target for 12th Plan is attributed to economic slowdown and declining industrial growth in the current fiscal.

The industrial production during April-June declined by 0.1 per cent. In June, it dropped by 1.8 per cent.

The economic growth rate plunged to a nine-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 and is not expected to improve this fiscal. The Reserve Bank has projected a growth rate of 6.5 per cent, lower than its earlier estimate of 7.3 per cent.

In view of the ongoing problems in the global economy, especially in the US and euro-zone area, the exports plunged by 14.8 per cent in July, the steepest fall in the last three years.