GDP in 2011-12 may be above 7 percent: PMEAC chief

Mumbai, Feb 7: Prime Minister's Economic Advisory panel chief C Rangarajan on Tuesday said the economic growth rate in 2011-12 could be over 7 percent, slightly higher than the projection of the Central Statistical Organisation.

"If industrial production picks off in the current quarter, then I will not be surprised if the final or revised estimate is 7 percent or more than 7 percent," Rangarajan, who is the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, said here.

His comments came after the CSO, in its Advanced Estimates, said the economic growth is likely to fall to a three-year low of 6.9 percent in 2011-12.

This, it said, was mainly due to sharp slowdown in manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors, against 8.4 percent expansion in the last fiscal.

"The numbers (in Advanced Estimates) are below 7 percent but my expectation is that when the final estimate comes it will be more than 7 percent for this fiscal," Rangarajan said.

As per the data, agriculture and allied activities are likely to grow at 2.5 percent in 2011-12, compared to a robust growth of 7 percent in 2010-11.

Manufacturing growth is also expected to drop down to 3.9 percent in this fiscal from 7.6 percent last year.

The CSO's GDP growth projection is a tad lower than the 7 percent forecast made by the Reserve Bank of India in its quarterly monetary policy review last month.

In its mid-year Economic Review, the government had pegged growth at around 7.5 percent.


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