8.6 pc for current fiscal satisfactory: Pranab

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjeetoday said the 8.6 per cent economic growth estimated for thecurrent fiscal was satisfactory in the wake of the risinginflation and trade imbalances.

"A 8.6 per cent is quite encouraging despite all thesedifficulties. Now the other issue is inflation, tradebalance.. these are to be addressed," Mukherjee told reportershere.

Mukherjee said despite challenges "it is quiteencouraging that it (GDP) is not deteriorating."

The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) todayestimated economic growth for the current financial year at8.6 per cent, as against 8 per cent a year ago.

"All along I was maintaining, it should be around 8.5 percent plus. 8.6 per cent is accepted. My concern is also aboutthe inflation and trade balance," he added.

The 8,9 per cent growth in the first half of the currentfiscal notwithstanding, the government is battling highinflation, particularly food inflation.

The overall inflation has remained above the comfortzone of 5-6 per cent for over a year now.

In December, the inflation has shot up to 8.43 per cent,from 7.48 per cent in the previous month. \

The food inflation is ruling at 17.05 per cent for theweek ended January 22.

The RBI in its quarterly monetary policy review lastmonthupped the March-end inflation projection to 7 per cent,from 5.5 per cent.

In the July-September quarter this fiscal, the CurrentAccount deficit (CAD) surged by 72 per cent to USD 15.8billion, compared to USD 9.2 billion in the same period lastyear due to higher imports.

The country''''s CAD, representing the difference ininflows and outflows of foreign exchange, barring capitalmovements, stood at 2.9 per cent of the GDP last fiscal. PTIBSP JD

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