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Economy will grow at 7 to 8 per cent: FM

Finance Minister P Chidambaram termed the current fiscal as a "difficult year" for the economy, yet the growth rate would be around 7-8 per cent. Highlights of FM's address.

business Updated: Jul 22, 2008 13:46 IST

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday termed the current fiscal as a "difficult year" for the economy, yet the growth rate would be around 7-8 per cent.

"This government will ensure that economy will grow at 7-8 per cent compared to an average growth of 5-6 per cent when NDA was in power," Chidambaram said during the debate on the vote of confidence motion in Lok Sabha.

It has been a resounding start for the eleventh five year plan, he added.

Indian economy witnessed a growth of 9.1 per cent in 2007-08.

On the debt waiver scheme announced in this year's Budget, the Finance Minister said a debt waiver of Rs 50,254 crore has been given to small and marginal farmers.

In addition to this, the government also gave debt relief of Rs 16,223 crore, taking the total amount to Rs 66,477 crore.

The scheme has benefited a total of 3.64 crore, including 2.98 small and marginal farmers, he said.

Speaking about farm credit growth, he said this year it would cross the target of Rs 2,80,000 crore as against Rs 2,50,000 crore last year. "We have addressed the need of farmers in a systematic way," he added.

Chidambaram said that last fiscal was a watershed year for agriculture when food grain production touched a record of 230.7 million tonnes.

During the 2007-08, rice production was at record 96.43 million tonnes, wheat at 78.4 mt, coarse cereals at 40.7 mt, pulses at 15.1 mt, oil seeds at 28.82 mt and cotton at 21.81 million bails.