India Will Achieve 8% Growth Despite Demonetisation: Pradhan

Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas with Ernest Moniz, former US Secretary of Energy and currently a professor at MIT, in Boston

India's economy will continue its momentum despite demonetisation and achieve an eight per cent growth next year, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said.

"Last November, we demonetised 85 per cent of our currency in circulation and even after that India's GDP continues to grow. According to recent data, growth for the September-December quarter stood at 7 per cent," Pradhan said in his keynote address at the 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Conference. Pradhan expressed confidence that India will "exceed" seven per cent overall growth rate this year and "achieve 8 per cent in the next year".

Addressing students, faculty, energy analysts and experts at the MIT conference titled 'Balance of Power: The Changing Energy Paradigm', Pradhan underscored the Narendra Modi government's emphasis on energy justice linked with climate justice.

"In India, we want to create a new energy story. We are committed to energy justice. Our approach has been holistic and covers conventional and alternate sources of energy with a view to promote Prime Minister Modi's vision of energy justice to all linked with climate justice," he said.

Pradhan, who was on a two-day visit to Boston, also addressed students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. During the packed day, he held talks with top city officials and energy experts, including former US Secretary of Energy and now a professor at MIT Ernest Moniz and Professor Henry Lee at Harvard.

He also visited the MIT Energy Lab and saw the cutting- edge research on carbon capture being done by students and researchers, many of whom are of Indian-origin. He was scheduled to leave for Houston later after an interaction with students at Tufts University.

Addressing the MIT conference, Pradhan said, "global warming is real" and India still has millions of its citizens without access to energy. The country is determined to provide energy to all its citizens, doing so in a sustainable manner, he said. "We will continue to depend on coal. However we will gradually shift to gas and renewables," he said, adding that India believes in climate justice and will grow without harming the environment.

"We want to grow, however, we want to grow sustainably," he said, reiterating the government's target to provide electricity to all by 2018 and noting that majority of the power will be coal-based.

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