India’s is now closer to its goal of growing at 9% a year. On Tuesday, the government released data that shows the economy grew at 8.9% in the quarter ending in September. What’s more, the revised numbers conclude the economy grew at the very same 8.9% in both the first quarter of 2010-11 and the final quarter of the 2009-10.
And the second quarter has seen robust growth across sectors. India’s agriculture grew 4.4% for the period, helped along by a good monsoon. Services expanded 9.8% and industry, including construction, grew 8.9%.
And the surprisingly good GDP numbers made policymakers optimistic. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said growth for the full fiscal would not be lower than 8.70-8.75 percent. And Kaushik Basu, his ministry’s chief economic advisor, said India was now close than ever to 9% growth.
And in other news, Azim Premji is using a large chunk of his stake in Wipro to fund social causes. The Wipro chairman has transferred 213 million of his shares to the Azim Premji Foundation. They’re valued at about Rs8,850 crore and will be used to fund development activities. Azim Premji controls the foundation and will retain voting rights on the shares.
And finally, if you’re looking for a Toyota car but think it’s out of your budget, , think again. Toyota launched its new mass market car the Etios in Bangalore this week. With a base price just under Rs5 lakh, the Etios is designed especially for the Indian market. Sedan versions are currently on offer and Toyota will start selling a hatchback in April of next year.