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9% growth forecast difficult to achieve: Economists

Even as the Government remains bullish about economic growth next fiscal, leading economists aren't as confident as North Block mandarins about India's ability to even maintain the current growth rate given the many domestic and global headwind staring at the country.

business Updated: Feb 27, 2011 14:57 IST

Even as the Government remains bullish about economic growth next fiscal, leading economists aren't as confident as North Block mandarins about India's ability to even maintain the current growth rate given the many domestic and global headwind staring at the country.

The Economic Survey, tabled in Parliament by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on February 25, had forecast an over 9 per cent growth next fiscal and pegged the current year growth at 8.6 per cent.

Economists at the leading rating and research agencies maintained achieving the higher projected growth trajectory looks unlikely given the medium-term macroeconomic trends.

Ashwin Parekh of Ernst & Young said "The 9 per cent plus growth projection looks difficult to achieve. The past four months have completely changed the macroeconomic conditions not only for us but for the entire global economy."

Stating that if the oil crisis arising from the Libyan political crisis is contained within the next one month, it may not pose too big a challenge to the domestic economy but if it extends beyond two months, it will definitely pose greater challenge to us. "But as of now we have no clarity on when the crisis will end."

Bullishness might have come from the assumption that the present crisis will be over sooner than anticipated and bring down crude prices to around $85 a barrel, he said.

Deloitte's Principal Economist Shanto Ghosh said while projecting a higher GDP rate, the ministry has glossed over many issues. Dependence on the services sector for growth without adequate focus on skill development is risky.