Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the economy needs to grow at 9-10 per cent a year, adding that industrialisation was necessary to reduce unemployment.
''The only way forward for this country is to register a growth rate of 9-10 per cent ... for solving the unemployment problem, industrialisation is a must,'' he said after giving prime minister's trophy for best steel plants in the country.
Growth had slipped from over 9 per cent to 6.7 per cent during 2008-09 due to the impact of the global financial meltdown. This fiscal the GDP is expected to grow by a relatively robust 7.2 per cent, driven by good performance from the manufacturing sector.
While giving away awards to RINL's Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and SAIL's Bhilai Steel Plant, Singh underlined the need for increasing steel output to meet the growing demand. India's per annum per capita steel consumption, Dr. Singh said, was very low at 46kg as against the global average of 190kg.
While asking the steel makers to step up output, the Prime Minister said the industry should also adopt green technology to reduce carbon emissions. ''India has to move towards a low carbon economy,'' Singh said, adding he had already asked the Planning Commission to work out a strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
Singh said steel is a major driver for the construction industry, which accounts for 50 per cent of investment in the economy. ''Construction is nothing but steel and cement ...,'' he said.