Growth will not be below 5% in FY '14, says Chidambaram

'Agriculture growth estimate positive'

Growth will not be below 5% in FY '14, says Chidambaram

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday expressed confidence that the economic growth rate for the current financial year will be revised to not less than 5 per cent.

“I am confident that the final estimate will be not less than 5 per cent for the whole year,” Chidambaram said, while commenting on the Central Statistics Office’s projection of 4.9 per cent growth.

Growth in 2012-13 slipped to a decade-low of 4.5 per cent. The economy expanded 4.6 per cent in the first half (April-September) of this financial year.

“I am confident that growth in 2014-15 will show a significant improvement over 2013-14,” Chidambaram said in a statement.

The minister said he was particularly happy that agriculture growth has been estimated at 4.6 per cent for 2013-14.

“It is a vindication of the policies pursued by the UPA government, including higher MSP (minimum support price), subsidy to fertilisers, enhanced credit to farmers and provision of quality seeds,” Chidambaram said.

Importance of banking

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said people have realised the importance of banking services and always request him to open a branch in their area to avail of various facilities.

“Wherever I go people ask me to open a bank branch. People have realised the importance of banking service nowadays,” he said declaring open 108 branches of Indian Bank, including one in this town through video conferencing mode.

The minister noted that if a branch is opened in a particular area, people there get all facilities, including loans for farming, industry, business and education, which would improve the local economy.

He said bank branches were not being opened just in Sivaganga (his constituency) but all over India. The 108 branches of Indian Bank included 36 in Tamil Nadu; 19 in Uttar Pradesh; 13 in Orissa, 12 in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Kerala three in Karnataka, one each in West Bengal and Assam and 16 in other states, he said.

The opening of branches was in line with the UPA government’s decision to do so, he said and pointed out that this year 10,000 branches had been opened, providing jobs for 50,000 persons.

Indian Bank’s business in Tamil Nadu was Rs 90,000 crore and this would touch Rs one lakh crore in the coming year, he added.

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