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Economy to get back on 8% growth trajectory in 2 years: Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Nov 12 2013, 13:06 IST
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Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia (AP) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia (AP)
Summary'I think we can hit what we thought was our trajectory two years later because of the slowdown that we have.'

Exuding confidence about India's potential, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said the economy will get back on the targeted growth trajectory of 8 per cent after two years.

"I think we can hit what we thought was our trajectory two years later because of the slowdown that we have," Ahluwalia told reporters at the 34th SKOCH Summit here.

The economy expanded at a decade-low rate of 5 per cent in the first year of the 12th Plan (2012-17) period, during which the government has targeted an annual average growth rate of 8 per cent.

In the April-June quarter of the current financial year, economic growth slowed to 4.4 per cent, compared with 4.8 per cent during January-March. Growth was 5.4 per cent in the April-June period of the previous financial year.

"I believe that the long or medium term growth potential of the economy remains 8 per cent, provided you do all things outlined in the 12th Plan. Obviously, the first two years are not going to be at that level," Ahluwalia said.

According to Ahluwalia, the average economic growth rate in the 12th Plan period will be lower than 8 per cent and the Commission will make its estimate next year during the mid-term review of the five year policy.

Ahluwalia said he expects growth to improve in the second half of the current financial year.

"The second half of the year should be better. The first half was lower. So for the year as a whole to be better than 5 per cent, the second half has be really good. We don't know the numbers," he said.

Asked whether the slowdown is over, he replied, "I believe that the economy has bottomed out. The financial experts say that there will be turnaround. It is clearly not a strong rebound. But there is evidence that (there will be turnaround)."

India's exports in October grew 13.47 per cent to USD 27.2 billion, the fastest pace in two years, government data showed yesterday.

"The news on the exports front is very encouraging," Ahluwalia said.

He said the current account deficit will probably be lower than the target set by the Finance Minister. The deficit refers to the difference between outflows and inflows of foreign currency.

"He (the Finance Minister) himself said that instead of USD 70 billion, it would be USD 60 billion...The important news is that it would be much lower than USD 88 billion last year. That means

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