Economy unlikely to grow at 9% this fiscal: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, May 12:  Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on May 11 said it would not be possible to achieve the targeted growth rate of 9 per cent in the current fiscal because of rising global commodity prices.

However, he said, inflation would moderate to 7-7.5 per cent from about nine per cent currently.

"Due to volatility in international commodity prices and other supply constraints, it may not be possible to achieve the growth rate of 9 per cent (+/-0.25 per cent) for the current financial year", Mukherjee said while addressing the probationers of the Indian Economic Service (IES) here.

Indian economy grew by 8.6 per cent during 2010-11.

Referring to rising prices, the Minister said, "the inflation is likely to be in the range of 7 to 7.5 per cent."

The Reserve Bank has been trying to bring down inflation by increasing repo (lending) and reverse repo (borrowing) rates. It increased these rates again early this month, the ninth time since March 2010, by 50 basis points at its annual credit policy.

Headline inflation (WPI) for March stood at 8.98 per cent, while food inflation was at 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16.

According to Mukherjee, one of the major challenges faced by India is to "achieve sustained GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth at the rate of 9 to 10 per cent with fiscal prudence and moderate inflation".

High growth, he said, was also essential to raise resources for funding social sector schemes like MGNREGA, Right to Education and the proposed Right to Food Act.


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