Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the growth of the Indian economy estimated at 6.9% during this fiscal year was "disappointing" as he started presenting what was his seventh federal budget in the Lok Sabha.
"The global crisis has affected us. India's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 6.9% in 2011-12, after having grown at 8.4% in each of the two preceding years," the finance minister said.
"Though we have been able to limit the adverse impact of the slowdown in our economy, this year's performance has been disappointing. But it is also a fact that in any cross-country comparison, India still remains among the front-runners in economic growth."
At the same time, Mukherjee also said that the Indian economy was at the cusp of a revival, as agriculture and services had continued to grow at a decent pace. It was industrial performance that was acting as a drag.
"While we do not have the aggregate figures for the last quarter of 2011-12, numerous indicators pertaining to this period suggest that the economy is now turning around. There are signs of recovery in coal, fertiliser, cement and electricity sectors."
Mukherjee said as India enters the 12th Five Year Plan, beginning April 1, the focus of his government would be on five key areas:
- Frame policies that trigger domestic demand recovery
- Ensure rapid rise in private investment
- Remove bottlenecks in agriculture, energy, transport, coal, power and national highways
- Address malnutrition
- Find ways to expedite implementation of decision, prompt delivery and good governance with transparency, while curbing black money and corruption