'Economy expected to grow at 6.5-7 pc in next fiscal' | business | Hindustan Times
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'Economy expected to grow at 6.5-7 pc in next fiscal'

Expecting a lower economic growth of 6.5-7 per cent for the next fiscal, the government on Wednesday said its main priority is to minimise job losses resulting from the global downturn.

business Updated: Jan 07, 2009 16:06 IST

Expecting a lower economic growth of 6.5-7 per cent for the next fiscal, the government on Wednesday said its main priority is to minimise job losses resulting from the global downturn.

Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar described the 10 million job loss figure given by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) as "unrealistic".

However, he admitted that people would be out of employment in certain sectors.

"Our main priority is to prevent job losses and we are working on it. There would be certain job losses in certain sectors of the industry but in certain other sectors there might not be job losses..In fact, they might be doing expansion in those areas," Kumar said here at a function organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

The minister also said the economic growth can go down to 6.5 per cent at the lower end of the band. "I believe that we will be able to record around 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent growth in the next fiscal," he said.

Kumar said Rs one lakh crore would be spent on infrastructure projects in the next 100 days.

Asked whether the government proposes to bring out any more stimulus package, he said the government has already given major sops. "But if there are certain sectoral issues, that will be discussed," he said without elaborating further.

On exporters' demand for more help, Kumar said, "It is in the constant stage of decision-making. Inter-ministerial comments are coming on certain proposals. But it is an ongoing process".

Disagreeing with the FIEO's assessment, Kumar said, " I don't think that is a realistic figure at all." However, the government would give "all possible" help to the job-oriented sectors like textile, leather, gems and jewellery.