According to the first official estimate of growth for the current financial year, the CSO has said it would decline from 6.2 per cent in 2011-12 to 5 per cent, much lower than the projections of the Reserve Bank and other agencies.
"This is the lowest growth in almost a decade. The number is astonishingly low. Several overriding risks continue to remain dominant and it is important that we firm up steps to give a thrust to the flagging growth.
"The need to revive the investment sentiment has become indispensable," Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai said in a statement. She said the government should take steps in the upcoming Budget to encourage growth and boost investments.
"At a time when the global economic situation is uncertain, we must take all possible measures to ramp up domestic demand so that our economic performance does not deteriorate any further," Kidwai added.
Sharing similar views, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said the sharp decline in economic growth to 5 per cent is highly disconcerting and validates the perception that the economy is under the throes of a widespread slowdown.
"It is imperative that the investment cycle picks up now. Identify 50 large projects and ensure that these are provided the necessary clearances within a pre defined period," Banerjee said.
He also asked the RBI to fast track the monetary easing process.
"CII hopes that the Union Budget would provide policy directions, which would help improve sentiments and get the economy back on track," he added.
Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot made a strong plea to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately call an all-party meeting before the Budget session to find a political consensus on the key economic issues like GST and DTC which are blocking the push so urgently needed to revive the economy.
"Let economy not be a big war for the political parties... I appeal to major political parties to rise to the occasion and avert the national economic gravity, waiting to take place," Dhoot said.