Economy to grow at 5.5 percent: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 13:30 hrs

Mumbai, Feb 9 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said the GDP growth during the current fiscal would be 5.5 percent, rather than 5 percent as estimated by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).

Speaking at the launch of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme in Mumbai, Chidambaram said it was wrong to label 5 percent growth as the lowest as GDP growth during 2000-01 and 2001-02 was below the 5 percent mark.

He said the economy grew at an average of 5.4 percent during the first five years of the century, 8.4 percent between 2005-09 and 7.3 percent thereafter.

Chidambaram said only three countries - China, the Philippines and Indonesia - have recorded economic growth higher than that of India.

"We will come out of the trough and climb back to higher growth rate," he said while expressing confidence in the Indian economy.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, the finance ministry said that the CSO bases its projection on extrapolation of numbers till November or December of a fiscal year. The estimate is accurate when GDP growth is following a particular trend, but not when it is turning.

According to Chidambaram, it is, therefore, likely that the advance estimates of 5 percent will be revised and the final estimate will be closer to the government's estimate of a growth rate of 5.5 percent or slightly more.

Earlier in the day, Chidambaram also inaugurated the newly constructed Punjab National Bank Corporate Centre here.

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