Amidst an atmosphere of global gloom and doom, India on Friday harped on its economy clocking a high growth rate even as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke against protectionism, echoing New Delhi's views on the issue.
"We hope to continue at ...7-7.5 per cent next fiscal," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said at a press conference at the World Economic Forum attended by world's powerful political leaders and CEOs.
The minister's optimism sharply contrasts the IMF's growth projections for India pegging them at 5.1 per cent for 2009 against the previous estimates of 6.3 per cent. Different official estimates suggest that after three years of nine per cent expansion, growth is set to moderate to around 7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March.
In a session on managing global risks, Nath hit out at protectionism by developed economies is a "panic response" that would hurt them as much as developing economies.
He also warned that India would be compelled to take commensurate measures against those countries which adopt protectionist strategies.
India's views on the issue drew support from the British Prime Minister who warned against reviving protectionist policies in dealing with the global crisis.