Counting on infrastructure

Counting on infrastructure
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 12 56 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 12 56 AM IST
New Delhi: Effects of the economic slowdown on the Indian economy are becoming more apparent by the day. The government’s advance estimate of GDP is a dismal 7.1% for 2008-2009 versus 9% a year ago. “Yes numbers are poor and they are globally bad. IMF itself is bringing down its forecast for the world economic growth drastically. Now they are saying it may be 0.2% only,” says KC Chakrabarty, the chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank.
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But with the next financial year expected to be worse for India, the GDP is expected to further deteriorate. Industry growth is estimated at 4.8% and agriculture growth is expected to decline to 2.6% versus 4.9% a year ago. Experts say only a boost in demand can lead to GDP growth.
“When other sectors are showing a slowdown if you put funding to the infrastructure obviously there will be a demand for cement, steel and over all demand will be created. So spending for infrastructure could boost demand,” says Alok Misra, the chairman and managing director of Oriental Bank of Commerce. India needs an investment of $500 billion in infrastructure over the next five years. 30% of this would come from the private sector.
The current GDP figure will undergo four rounds of revisions before the final estimates for 2008-09 is released.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 10 2009. 12 56 AM IST