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GDP growth to be in 5.5% to 5.9% range: Arun Jaitley

India would likely grow at 5.5% to 5.9% this year, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday, rekindling hopes that Asia’s third-largest economy looks set to claw out of its quarter-century slump.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2014 22:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

India would likely grow at 5.5% to 5.9% this year, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday, rekindling hopes that Asia’s third-largest economy looks set to claw out of its quarter-century slump.

“The major priority of the government is to bring back growth momentum into country’s economy. The economy has potential for achieving and sustaining higher growth,”
Jaitley said while addressing the Consultative Committee meeting.

Jaitley outlined major priorities of the government as reviving and sustaining higher GDP growth, increasing savings, fiscal consolidation, keeping the current account deficit (difference between dollar inflows and outflows) at moderate level and reviving investment cycle, among others.

India’s wholesale inflation rate plunged to 2.38% in September, the lowest in five
years, while retail inflation has fallen to 6.46%, the lowest since 2012.

Falling crude oil prices and lower inflation will aid the recovery in the economy that grew at sub-5% in the last two years, the first since 1987.

Jaitley said the recent decline in international oil prices as also domestic food items point towards lower inflation. “The capital flows to finance CAD is adequate and further moderation can be expected in 2014-15 due to lower oil prices,” he said.

India’s fiscal deficit (the gap between government expenditure and revenue), however, has touched 83% of the full-year target in September-end. “Higher tax refunds are getting reflected in the fiscal deficit number. This year there were pending tax refunds estimated around Rs 1.20 lakh crore,” he said.

First Published: Oct 31, 2014 21:16 IST