Economy will chug at 9-10%, avers Pranab

Fiscal deficit may rise to 6.8 per cent of the GDP in this financial year

Economy will chug at 9-10%, avers Pranab

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee

"If the current trend continues it would be possible to have 9-10 per cent growth rate...'' he said.

This fiscal, he sees the economy clocking a growth of 7.7 per cent thanks to various stimulus measures, although these have resulted in widening fiscal deficit -- the gap between the government's income and expenditure.
A higher fiscal stimulus negatively impacts the country's sovereign ratings, which in turn inflates the borrowing costs. Fiscal deficit is projected to widen to 6.8 per cent of the GDP in FY'10, although it was expected to be contained at 2.5 per cent as of 2008-09.

But, Mukherjee said the stimulus measures have started paying dividends, as the Indian economy grew 7.9 per cent in the second quarter. He expressed optimism that India would grow by 7.7 per cent this fiscal from 6.7 per cent in FY'09.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too said that India would clock 9-10 per cent growth.
Mukherjee pointed out that despite economic slowdown in 2008-09, India recorded 8.6 per cent average annual economic growth rate during 2004-09.
The stimulus measures include a 6 per cent cut in excise duty and 2 per cent in service tax.

Mukherjee said economic reforms started in early 1990's will continue. He specifically mentioned reforms that are being carried out on direct taxes and indirect taxes front in the form of proposed Direct Taxes Code and Goods and Service Tax.
Mukherjee said he has asked his officials that income tax form should be so simple that tax assessee will be able to know about various aspects of tax by reading the form itself.
He thanked Indian diaspora for their contribution to successful signing of Indo-US Nuclear treaty.

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