Economic growth won’t be below 7 percent: Government

December 18th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) The government Thursday said the overall economic growth this fiscal would not fall below 7 percent.”RBI has examined forecast of the select macroeconomic indicators by professional forecasters on this basis has indicated in October 2008 that the real GDP growth rate for 2008-09 is expected to be 7.7 percent,” V. Narayanasamy, minister of state in the ministry of planning and the ministry of parliamentary affairs, said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha.

“The overall growth rate could be lower than that but is unlikely to go below 7 percent,” he added.

The minister said the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) estimates show the economy grew by 7.8 percent in the first half of the current financial year, as compared to the corresponding period in 2007-08.

However, according to him, two key sectors - agriculture and industry - would not be able to keep pace with the overall economic growth.

“Forecasts made by different agencies indicate that the growth rate of agriculture and allied sector, of which foodgrains is a component, and the industrial sector, of which the manufacturing sector is a component, is likely to remain lower than the average growth rate of the economy,” Narayanasamy said.

He gave a 3 percent and 7 percent growth rate projection for agriculture and industry sectors, respectively.

In the first half this fiscal, agriculture and allied sectors grew 2.9 percent over that registered in the April-September 2007 period, while the industry sector registered a 6.5 percent growth.

Answering another question, Narayanasamy said the government will spend Rs.14,365.59 billion (Rs.1,436,559 crore or about $319 billion) on infrastructure development as part of the 11th Five-Year Plan.

Private infrastructure investment through the public private partnership (PPP) route will be in the region of Rs.6,195.91 billion (Rs.619,591 crore or about $137.7 billion).

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