Need to step up public expenditure: Montek

Need to step up public expenditure: Montek
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 07 25 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 07 25 PM IST
New Delhi: Describing the 7.1% growth projection for the current fiscal in the current situation as better than expected, the Plan panel on Tuesday underlined the need for stepping up public expenditure to stimulate the economy.
“I don’t want to speculate on final numbers. It (the CSO estimate of GDP) is better than expected,” Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told the media on the sidelines of a function to launch “India’s Strategic Interests in Southeast Asia and Singapore”, a book by former Singapore Ambassador in India See Chak Mun.
The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) on Monday projected an economic growth rate of 7.1% for the current fiscal, down from 9% in the previous year. The CSO’s advance GDP estimate for the current fiscal is the same as projected by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and slightly better than the 7% forecast of the Reserve Bank.
Ahluwalia said the best way to boost the economy is to expand public expenditure and public and private investment through the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode.
The Indian government’s plan to borrow an extra Rs460 billion ($9.44 billion) in the remaining months of the financial year won’t cause a cash squeeze, said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
I have no doubt that the extra borrowing can be accommodated this year, Ahluwalia said. India is relying on borrowings to fund fiscal stimulus packages aimed at shoring up slowing growth.
The government on Tuesday said it will borrow the additional amount between 20 February and 20 March.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 07 25 PM IST