With India’s GDP estimated to have grown about 5% last year, the lowest since 2003-04, finance minister P Chidambaram said the economy this year would grow faster.
The final GDP numbers for the year 2012-13 will be announced this week. Current full year estimate for 2012-13 is at 5%. For the first three quarters, it grew 5.1%. From 9.3% in 2010-11, the economic growth decelerated to 6.2% in 2011-12.
“The economy has slowed down, business has slowed down. But I expect this year it will grow at least 1% more than last year," Chidambaram said while inaugurating the regional office of the public sector Canara Bank.
He also expressed hope that the growth would be one percentage point higher than the current year in financial year 2014-15 and would soon reach potential growth rate of 8%.
Chidambaram urged banks to invest in human resources and technology and to build capacities to deal with growth.
He also urged banks to distinguish between the wilful and business cycle-affected honest defaulters.”NPAs (non-performing assets) are not unusual and will remain when the economy is not performing well. Banks cannot abandon their clients but should hold their hand,” he said.