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Business

5% GDP growth below potential; policies needed to revive growth: Rajan

Friday, 8 February 2013
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New Delhi, February 08:

Terming the CSO estimate of 5 percent growth rate for this fiscal "below potential", Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan on Friday said the country needs to pursue policies to push growth to at least 8 percent.

"CSO's estimate of 5 percent or 5.5 percent growth (for 2012-13) is way below potential. We do need to up growth, we need to undertake policies that will enable us to reach at least to 8 percent, which people think is lower bound for our potential growth," Rajan said while delivering lecture at a Symposium organised by Citi-MIT Sloan here.

As per the advance estimates of the CSO, which was released yesterday, the GDP growth rate for the current fiscal is estimated to be at 5 percent, the lowest in a decade. The economy grew by 6.2 percent in 2011-12 fiscal.

Rajan further added that there was some problem in CSO's estimate of GDP growth.

"One of the problem with the CSO estimate is that it is based on past data, and at turning points in GDP growth. Looking at past data underestimate change," he said.

The CSO's estimate was sharply lower than that of RBI and government which had projected the economic growth at 5.5 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, for this fiscal year.

Rajan also stressed on the need to contain fiscal deficit.

"We need to fix the fiscal deficit. We can't keep running large fiscal deficit and borrowing to finance it. This is where Finance Minister has made a firm commitment that this year's fiscal deficit will be 5.3 percent," he said.

The government had earlier enhanced the fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal from 5.1 percent to 5.3 percent in view of higher expenditure for meeting additional outgo towards subsidies.

On widening current account deficit (CAD), which rose to a record high of 5.4 percent of GDP, or USD 22.3 billion, in the July-September quarter of current fiscal, Rajan said: "CAD is certainly a source of concern. Currently we are running a large CAD, which we will have to manage."

PTI

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