The worst is over for the Indian economy, which has started responding to various stimulus packages from the government. The country's growth would pick up momentum in the last two months of this fiscal, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said in New Delhi.
"I believe the worst is over," Nath said adding that the last two months of the current fiscal would be much better in terms of growth.
The Indian economy grew by 5.3 per cent in the third quarter, lowest in over five years, against a whopping 8.9 per cent a year ago, as agriculture and manufacturing output contracted. The farm sector contracted by 2.2 per cent while manufacturing shrank by 0.2 per cent. The April-December growth works out to 6.9 per cent against 7.1 per cent shown in the government estimates.
Nath said the government was aware of the sluggish growth in the economy during October-December quarter and that was why it announced stimulus packages. He said the government took steps to address the issue of sluggish growth in the economy, which is more evident in the third quarter.
"We were seized... We did not know the figures but certainly we were seized that there is a sharp decline; that is why we did announce a stimulus package," said Nath, adding that the measures have started yielding results. "If you see January and November figures of auto, cement, steel there is a big jump," he pointed out.
In less than three months since December, the government has announced three stimulus packages reducing excise duty, service tax and providing more funds for the infrastructure sector. The export sector, employing over 150 million people, has been worst-hit by the recession in Europe and the US.
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