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GDP may grow at 7.25%: Manmohan

January 07, 2004 14:44 IST

The much-hyped government forecast of over 8 per cent growth this year will be difficult unless savings and investment rates were pushed up substantially, former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh has said.

"One should not build up too much hype about it and even after 8 per cent growth rate in the second quarter, the growth rate in this year probably will not exceed 7-7.25 per cent," he said in New Delhi on Tuesday night.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a function to release a book on Strategic Management, written by former Planning Commission member Nitish Sengupta.

Taking the last five-year period, the average growth would be 5.5 per cent and "it compares very poorly with the growth rates experienced during the last four years of Congress regime," he said.

Singh said when the Congress left the government, the economy was growing at 7 per cent continuously for the last four years, industrial production was growing at over 10 per cent, exports at 20 per cent in dollar terms and savings and investment reached a "record" level.

"By contrast, both savings and investments in the BJP regime have dipped," the senior Congress leader said.

Prescribing a solution, Singh said unless savings and investment are revived, the country's ambition of greater investment in infrastructure and spending on social sector cannot materialise.


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