9% GDP growth a long way off, says Pranab

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 27 2009, 05:10am hrs
"Reforms are needed to steer the economy back towards 9% growth, but it would take longer due to the global slowdown and drought in the country," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a function organised by a TV channel on Tuesday, Mukherjee said the government is moving ahead with setting up an autonomous debt management office and efforts are being made to implement goods and services tax from next year.

"The new tax reform Bill will be presented in Parliament after public debate and the government would soon introduce repos in the corporate debt market," he said.

A repo, or "repurchase agreement", is a transaction that allows a holder to sell a bond for a short period to another investor with an agreement to buy it back at a higher price at a later date. Presently, repos are allowed only in the government bond market.

"Permitting repos in corporate bonds has been proposed. We are also moving ahead to set up an autonomous debt management office," he said. Mukherjee said the country can clock over 6% growth this fiscal. "Despite the global economic crisis, we grew by 6.7% last year. This year, we are getting mixed signals. We will have over 6% growth," he said.