GDP expected to grow 9%: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:30am hrs
Indias GDP growth rate in the current fiscal is expected to clock between 8-9%, finance minister P Chidambaram said on Friday. Addressing a seminarProspects for the World Economy after the Recent US Electionsjointly organised by the CII and Columbia Business School here, the minister said he feared the new Congress, dominated by the Democrats, might impact the success of Doha round.

The restrictions on energy consumption on developing countries like India and China could also impact and impair prospects of the global economy, he said.

Chidambaram said as most Democrats had won on a protectionist agenda, they might not support taking forward the Doha round of talks. However, I hope the new Congress will not impair the capacity of the US administration to resume talks, he said, adding, concerns of the developing countries must be taken into account.

The finance minister emphasised India and China were bound to consume large quantity of energy if they had to grow. India was willing to accept reasonable obligation, provided it had access to clean technology, reflected in the Indo-US nuclear deal, he said. If we have access to clean technology, we will share our share of responsibility and I hope the new Congress takes these facts into account.

Meanwhile, Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council chairman C Rangarajan said all indicators showed the GDP would log close to 9%. He said the current account deficit would be about 1.5% of the GDP. Exports and imports touching about 39% of the GDP, only goes onto show the extent to which the Indian economy has got integrated with the world economy. So developments in the US economy are a matter of interest to us, he said.

Rangarajan also underlined that India had a current account surplus of $25 billion with the US, implying it had the capacity to import more with the domestic savings rate, touching about 32% this fiscal.

This is a substantial achievement and the US should not turn away from globalisation in the supposed belief that it hurts, as then everybody else will also say, he said.