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‘Stimulus exit on GDP data cue’

Now that industrial growth has picked up, is it time to roll back the stimulus package announced late in 2008?

business Updated: Feb 03, 2010 21:50 IST

Now that industrial growth has picked up, is it time to roll back the stimulus package announced late in 2008?

The government is likely to take a decision only after the GDP growth figures for the entire fiscal year 2009-10 become available in May, Chief Statistician Pronab Sen said on Wednesday.

However, strong industrial growth numbers would prompt the government to start thinking of withdrawing these measures, Sen said.

Industrial growth has started picking up in recent months, leading the Reserve Bank of India and other analysts to suggest a partial roll back of stimulus measures.

Sen, who is secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, said industrial growth figures give only a supply side picture and do not tell whether there is demand to absorb the supply or inventories are building up.

GDP data, on the other hand, provide a demand side picture also, Sen said, adding it was up to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take a call on stimulus measures in the Budget, depending upon industrial or economic growth figures.

“It is up to the Finance Minister to either play safe (in the Budget) and wait for actual economic figures to come out or play gamble and take a decision depending on industrial growth numbers,” Sen said.