Economic growth can be stepped up: Indian companies

Friday, 29 February 2008, 14:38 Hrs
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New Delhi: Captains of the Indian business community welcomed the Economic Survey of 2007-08 even as they said that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection of 9 percent for the next five years could be pushed up.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented the annual economic report card in the Lok Sabha Thursday.

"While the survey is confident of maintaining an average growth of 9 percent during the eleventh five year plan period... this can be stepped up to 10 percent if the challenges are indeed addressed," said Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

CII said creation of a proper physical infrastructure would ease supply-side constraints on growth and stimulate demand for goods and services.

"The finance minister has projected that the inflation in 2007-08 would stay around 4.1 percent and the GDP growth projected at 8.7 percent for current fiscal is on realistic path and (it is) further hoped that the Indian economy at market exchange rate would cross $1 trillion size by current fiscal," said Venugopal Dhoot, president, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

"Maintaining the growth rate at 9 percent will be a major challenge and pushing it to double-digit levels would be an even greater task in the context of the slowdown of the global economy and the threat of rising inflation within the country," said the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

CII applauded the government's efforts in maintaining the fiscal deficit of the centre and states to around 5.5 percent and projected revenue surplus of states on a consolidated basis in 2007-08.

"Maintaining fiscal discipline is important for development of states and for moderating interest rates," it said.

On the export growth front, the Economic Survey clearly indicated that export performance of the country could suffer on the backdrop of the rising rupee against the dollar.

"Economic Survey substantiates the view that export growth in forthcoming years will be impacted due to marginal growth in world trade and slowdown in US, EU (European Union) and Japan," said Ganesh K. Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

Gupta also welcomed the balanced approach of the government in exchange rate management looking at the long-, medium- and short-term needs of the economy.
Source: IANS
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