New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Endorsing the Economic Survey''semphasis on the farm and the infrastructure sectors forachieving higher economic growth, Finance Minister PranabMukherjee said inflation and widening current account deficitremain major areas of concern.
"Inflation is a matter of great concern, no doubt. Justone year ago in February 2010 food inflation was as high as20.2 per cent...though it is high it has come down inJanuary ... still it is an area of concern and we shall haveto work on it, particularly in the context of global economiccrisis," Mukherjee told reporters here.Inflation stood at at a high of 8.23 per cent in January.
After touching a high of 18.23 per cent in December, foodinflation came down to 11.49 per cent in mid-February.
Inflation is forecast to be higher with pressure oncommodity prices due the ongoing turmoil in the Middle-East.
On current account deficit, he said: "Another major areaof concern in current account deficit."
Current account deficit widens when imports of goods,services and transfers exceed their exports. It is projectedat 3 per cent during the current fiscal.
The finance minister said the Survey has done a good job.
"(It) has correctly emphasised on the need of making moreinvestment in agriculture, infrastructure, socialinfrastructure, he said.
On industrial output, he said though there is a variationin index of industrial production (IIP) in the recent months,it requires substantial investment so that industry continueto make its contribution to GDP.
He said the Survey has been able to critically analysevarious options.
The Economic Survey 2010-11 has some speciality. "If yougo through it, you will find one chapter that is on servicesand I think it is appropriate because contribution of servicesector in our GDP is expanding," he said.
The Survey has pegged the economic growth at 8.6 per centin 2010-11 and 9 per cent in the next fiscal.
It projected the gross fiscal deficit at 4.8 per cent ofGDP in, down from 6.3 per cent last year.