New Delhi: In the backdrop of the global financial meltdown, the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has described India’s economic growth rate of 7.8% during the first half of 2008-09 as ‘healthy and satisfactory’.
“The first half growth rate at 7.8% is a satisfactory and healthy growth rate with regard to the global slowdown”, he said while commenting on the economic data released by the government earlier in the day.
The Minister, however, admitted that manufacturing sector remains a problem area. The manufacturing sector output nearly halved to 5.3% from 10.1% during the first half of the previous fiscal.
The other problem areas include electricity, gas and water supply group which too witnessed a deceleration of growth to 3.1% in the first half of 2008-09 compared with 7.4% during the first half of the last fiscal.
He said that the government will also look into the issues of certain sectors like textiles, gems and jewellery, marine products, hotel, financing and real estate.
Asked about the farm sector, Chidambaram said: “The agriculture and allied sector is expected to do well during the second half of the fiscal.”
As per the GDP data, the farm sector growth rate slipped to 2.9% during the first half from 4.5% in the corresponding period last year.
The GDP data released by the government earlier revealed that GDP during the first half slipped to 7.8% from 9.3%, while growth rate in the second quarter worked out to be 7.6%, down from 9.3% during the same period last year.