New Delhi: Defending the UPA government’s performance on the economic front, finance minister P Chidambaram today said that , though the current fiscal is a “difficult year” for the economy, the growth rate would be around 7-8%.
“This government will ensure that economy will grow at 7-8% compared to an average growth of 5-6% when NDA was in power,” Chidambaram said during the debate on the vote of confidence motion in Lok Sabha.
It has been a resounding start for the eleventh five year plan, he added.
Indian economy witnessed a growth of 9.1% in 2007-08.
On the debt waiver scheme announced in this year’s budget, the finance minister said the scheme has benefited a total of 3.64 crore, including 2.98 small and marginal farmers.
Countering allegations that the government did not do enough for the ailing agriculture sector, Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha that farm credit this year would cross the target of Rs2,80,000 crore as against Rs2,50,000 crore last year.
“We have addressed the need of farmers in a systematic way,” he added.
Chidambaram said that last fiscal was a watershed year for agriculture when food grain production touched a record of 230.7 million tonnes.
During the 2007-08, rice production was at record 96.43 million tonnes, wheat at 78.4 mt, coarse cereals at 40.7 mt, pulses at 15.1 mt, oil seeds at 28.82 mt and cotton at 21.81 million bails.