India's growth rate in 2007-08 revised to 9 percent
Saturday, 31 May 2008, 05:06 Hrs
New Delhi: India's economic growth of nine percent in 2007-08 was the slowest since 2004-05, latest data showed Friday, with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram predicting a further dip to 8.5 percent for the current fiscal. The latest data, however, shows an increase of 30 basis points over the earlier growth estimate of 8.7 percent in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007-08 - which is also well above expectations. The GDP had expanded by 9.4 percent and 9.6 percent in the two years before that. "It is a matter of great satisfaction that 2007-08 has returned the growth rate of nine percent. As the year progressed, there were some doubts whether we would be able to achieve nine percent growth," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said. "But I had on many occasions expressed my confidence that growth will be close to nine percent," he told a hurriedly-convened press conference Friday. He admitted that the slower growth in the manufacturing sector was a matter of concern, but said corrective measures were being taken and more would follow to arrest the slowdown. "We will address why there is a slowdown in manufacturing. We have to take some corrective measures and we will take those corrective measures." The finance minister also said that the latest data improved the growth achieved during the four years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and took it to an overall 8.9 percent. "The important aspect of growth in 2007-08 was that per capita income at constant prices increased by 7.8 percent. More money is available in the hands of people and per capita incomes are rising, which is a good sign," Chidambaram said.