statesman news service
BANGALORE, 5 OCT: The Union finance minister, Mr P Chidambaram asserted today that the economy can grow at 8 per cent in 2015-16 besides improving its performance in the current financial year itself. The period of stress can be overcome this year while posting a growth between six and seven per cent next year before hitting the eight per cent mark a year later.
The minister, who was speaking at a State Bank of Mysore function here today, said there was no reason why the economy could not recover this year The country had the capacity to do so.
This was also evidenced from the fact that the government had contained fiscal deficit last year notwithstanding what the critics were saying day in and day out. In this context, he added that he had been maintaining that this year the current account deficit would be contained despite predictions to the contrary by the critics.
Asserting that the government has the capacity to overcome “this period of stress”, the Union finance minister said the current account deficit will be contained below $70 billion this fiscal.
“Last year I was told by pundits, analysts and rating agencies and all the wise people who appear on televisions every day that we cannot contain the fiscal deficit… I’m happy that we were able to surprise them… We are told that the government cannot contain the current account deficit… I said last year we had the deficit of $88 billion, this year I’m betting at $70 billion, and I will contain it below $70 billion.”
The Union finance minister underlined: “Let me tell you, I will surprise them once again, we will contain it below $70 billion.”
Stressing that the country had very good economists, advisors and administrators, not to mention institutional capacity, he said: "If we are able to sit with them and work out the set policies, we will find the results." In the same vein the finance minister praised the ability of the public to invest in savings. This was clear from the fact that in the worst of times, the savings rate had never gone below 30 per cent.
The confidence comes from my knowledge of the numbers, from the fact that gold imports have sharply compressed in the month of July, August and September, and exports have picked up briskly and smartly.
There could be inflation, I know you bear burdens, but even while you bear the burdens I want you to reflect that certainly India today is a much larger economy than what it was 10 years ago