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Economy to expand over 5% this fiscal: Montek

October 04, 2013 13:41 IST

The Planning Commission on Friday said it will revisit annual average GDP growth target of 8 per cent for the 12th Plan (2012-17) in view of dismal performance in first two years of policy period, while saying the economy is likely to expand by over 5 per cent this fiscal.

"We have not made a short term estimate. We are relying on whatever Finance Ministry is saying. At the moment I don't see any reason to disagree with what Finance Ministry is saying," Commission's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on the growth projection for this fiscal.

Earlier this  month, Finance Ministry had said that Indian economy will grow by over 5 per cent in the current fiscal on back of high farm productivity and investments. "It (GDP) will be more than 5 per cent, it cannot be less than 5 per cent," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram had said.

When asked whether economy would growth at a rate over 5 per cent this fiscal as projected by the Finance Ministry, Ahluwalia replied, "It is not ruled out. That is what I hope."

Reeling under the impact of slowdown, Indian economy grew by 5 per cent in 2012-13, the first year of the 12th Plan. The first quarter (April-June) economic growth in this fiscal has slipped to 4.4 per cent from 4.8 per cent in the previous January-March quarter.

When asked about possible tinkering with the annual average economic growth target of 8 per cent in the 12th Plan, Ahluwalia said, "The Planning Commission will certainly revisit the growth prospects."

"I remain of the view that the medium term 8 per cent average economic growth remains valid but it will take longer to get there because (the growth in) first two years have been disappointingly low," he added.

As per the practice, the Commission comes out with a mid-term review of Plans during the third financial year of the policy period. In its last mid-term review, the Commission had cut the annual average growth rate target of 9 per cent to 8.2 per cent for the 11th Five Year Plan period (2007-12). But only 8 per cent average annual economic growth was achieved during the Plan period.

The 12th Plan document itself talks about the different growth scenarios. It said that in absence of sufficient action to promote economy, the average growth would range from 6 to 6.5 per cent. 

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