Chennai: With a normal monsoon predicted this year, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) on Wednesday said there was a need to work on getting 4% growth in agriculture.
“Provided the monsoon is normal (this year), there is a need to work towards getting 4% growth in agriculture and allied sectors”, PMEAC chairman C. Rangarajan told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day conference here.
On Tuesday the earth sciences ministry had predicted the monsoon in the country as a whole to most likely be normal.
On prices, Rangarajan admitted that the rise in headline inflation in March was “unexpected” and predicted it would come down to 6% this year.
“The rise in inflation in March is unexpected. We estimated (it would decrease) because of decline in food prices. But inflation in manufacturing sector rose”, he said.
Inflation in March touched 8.98%, which was above RBI’s expectation of 8%, due to high prices of vegetables and manufactured items.
Earlier in his inaugural address at the fifth edition of “India Finance Forum 2011” organized by CII, Rangarajan said the growth rate was expected to be 8.6% this fiscal.
“Economic growth rate could be 8.6%, mainly supported by the agriculture sector at 4% growth and manufacturing and services sector at 8-10%”.
He said fiscal deficit during 2010-11 was expected to come down to 5.1% of GDP and was projected to be around 4.6% in 2011-12. “We should maintain this course and soon reach the target of three per cent of GDP”, he said.