India has recovered faster than others, claims Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said India had been fortunate in surviving the global financial crisis without major disruptions and had recovered its growth momentum much faster than others.

At pre-Budget consultations with noted economists, Pranab Mukherjee said in the first half of 2010-11, the Indian economy recorded an overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.9 per cent, which put it back on the high growth path that the economy was on in the years prior to the crisis.

"The recovery had been broad-based with agriculture, industry and services all contributing to the consolidation of the growth momentum," he added.

He further said that the resilience that India had demonstrated in recent times reflected a maturing of the economic management of the country and the growing competitiveness of Indian enterprise.

"The economic recovery was driven by a deliberate fiscal expansion during and immediately after the global crisis and supported by monetary policy easing,' he added.

With a broad-based recovery underway, a calibrated exit of stimulus is being implemented as a part of the Budget 2010-11, he said . The Minister said that the progress in reduction in fiscal deficit for the year 2010-11 was in line with the commitment made in the medium-term fiscal policy statement.

The Finance Minister further said that the creeping increase in international crude oil and other commodity prices was a reality that the country was already confronting.

"High food prices, caused in part by severe drought conditions in 2009, and by rising incomes, had been driving inflation in India. Other countries are also experiencing rising food inflation, he added.

He said that there had been significant increase in foreign institutional investment (FII) inflows even as there had been some moderation in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.

"The challenge before the Government and the monetary authority has been to support the recovery process without compromising on price stability. The task has not been easy, the Minister added.

This was the fifth meeting in the series of consultations held by the Finance Minister ahead of the General Budget for 2011-12, which will be presented to Parliament next month.

He had earlier held similar meetings with stakeholders of the agriculture sector, captains of Indian industry, trade unionists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). (ANI)

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