Indian economy to grow at 7-7.5% next fiscal as well: Minister Nath


Davos : India has exuded optimism that it would continue to maintain economic growth rate of 7-7.5 per cent next fiscal, the same level it is expected to register in the current fiscal, even as its neighbour China termed its lower growth projection of 8 per cent in 2009 as a tall order.

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“We hope to continue at the same level of 7-7.5 next fiscal,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told a press conference at the World Economic Forum here on Friday.

Indian economy grew by 7.8 per cent in the first half of this fiscal, and there are apprehensions that the growth rate will slow down in the second half despite stimulus packages, with industrial production falling for the first time in 15 years in October last year.

Also at WEF, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had said that his government had set a target of 8 per cent economic growth for 2009 against 9 per cent in 2008 as international financial crisis had inflicted rather big impact on the country’s real economy.

Jiabao termed the target of 8 per cent as a tall order, but expressed confidence that China will attain that through hard work.

It should, however, be noted that Jiabao was talking in terms of calendar years, and Nath was referring to fiscal years, but the perspectives of the statements of both could be broadly compared.

When asked what is the source of his optimism given the global slowdown, Nath said Indian economy will not be sustained merely by exports, but by the domestic demand.

“Those economies which are heavily dependent on exports for economic growth are going to take a hit. We have only 15-16 per cent of GDP in exports,” he said.