FM hints at further stimulus roll-back

FM hints at further stimulus roll-back

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with Sebi Chairman C B Bhave at the 5th International Convention of Association of National Exchanges Members of India in Kolkata on  Saturday. PTI

Mukherjee, who in the Budget for 2010-11 partially withdrew some of the stimulus measures by increasing excise duty by two per cent, said that the economy could still grow by up to 8.75 per cent in the current fiscal.

Hopeful about growth

“I am hopeful that the growth will climb back between 8.25 per cent and 8.75 per cent and perhaps at the mid point around 8.5 in 2010-11,” he said at a function organised by Association of National Exchange Members of India here.

He added that “the broad-based recovery has created hope for the gradual roll-back of some unconventional and extra-ordinary measures taken by the government” in the form of stimulus packages.

Besides slashing excise duty by six per cent, the government had in late 2008 cut service tax by two per cent to cushion the industry from the impact of the global crisis. Mukherjee exuded confidence that the measures outlined in this year’s budget are likely to revive private investment and put the economy back on the growth path of 9 per cent per annum.

“The pace and the shape of the recovery, however, remains uncertain. The challenge of the hour is to manage the recovery of the economy, which entails a policy reversal from the crisis expansionary stance and recognising the need for carrying forward process of exit,” Mukherjee said.

He said the economy witnessed a “sufficient” slowdown in the growth rate in the second half of 2008-09, following a financial crisis that began in the industrialised nations 2007 and spread across the world.

After clocking an impressive 9 per cent growth for the previous three fiscals till 2007-08, India’s GDP grew by a relatively modest rate of 6.7 per cent in 2008-09. The economy is expected to grow by 7.2 per cent in 2009-10.

Later at another function, lauding the efforts of public sector banks, Mukherjee said nationalised banks are able to run efficiently and there is no inherent dichotomy in the private and public sector banking system.

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