Indian economy may cross 8%

By agencies   |   Thursday, 16 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: President APJ Abdul Kalam today said the economy is likely to grow by more than 8 percent in the financial year ending in March.

Speaking at the joint session meeting of the parliament, he said the inflation rate had remained moderate despite a sharp increase in global energy prices.

"So it is a matter of immense satisfaction that even in the face of an unprecedented rise in global oil prices, the Indian economy has performed exceedingly well," Kalam said while inaugurating the budget session.

Kalam listed the programs being undertaken by the ruling UPA coalition government to improve the living conditions of the country's 260 million poor.

He said the government is taking steps to shore up the country's infrastructure - from roads to ports and airports to help sustain rapid economic growth.

"My government places special emphasis on improving the power situation in the country," Kalam said, adding that the power ministry was working on five power projects with a capacity of 4,000 megawatt each.

"More such power projects will be taken up to bridge the demand-supply gap."

India has one of the world's fastest growing economies, although it still lags heavyweight China, which grew at 9.9 percent in 2005.

Growth in the first half of the fiscal year stood at 8.1 percent compared with a year earlier, boosted by a pick-up in manufacturing as healthy rural earnings translated into higher domestic spending.

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