A day after the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO’s) projection of a 4.9% growth rate for 2013-14, finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday expressed confidence that the economy will grow at over 5% in the current fiscal year and even higher in the next fiscal (2014-15).
“This estimate of 4.9% for the whole year will in all likelihood be revised upward in the first, second and final revisions in the next two years. I am confident that the final estimate will be not less than 5% for the whole year,” the finance minister said.
Chidambaram said that estimates indicate that growth in the second half has been better than the first half. “The second half of 2013-14 has been better than growth in the first half of 2013-14...we had anticipated that growth in the second half will improve and I am happy that our assessment has come true.”
“I am particularly happy that agriculture growth is estimated at 4.6%. It is a vindication of the policies pursued by the UPA government,” he added.
Economists however said it will be difficult to touch 5% in 2013-14. “Growth will be below 5%. An estimate of 4.9% was arrived at due to the revision of GDP data of the previous year else it would have been lower,” said DK Joshi, chief economist, Crisil.