Home >politics >policy >Indian economy to grow better in second half: Montek

Hyderabad: Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday said he expects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow faster in the second half of this fiscal year than in the first half, taking the full year’s growth rate to about 5%.

Next financial year, he expects the economy to grow at about 6%.

“I don’t think at the moment we have signs of strong revival yet but I do get a picture that people think that the economy has bottomed out, that many of the actions taken will allow some investments to occur," Ahluwalia told journalists on the sidelines of an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.

The Indian economy grew at 4.8% in the first six months of financial year 2013-14.

Ahluwalia said he expects GDP growth rate for the full year to average out at around the previous year’s 5% mark—the slowest in a decade.

“Many of the problems we currently face are not really problems related to structural reforms; they are problems that have arisen because of the impediments to implementation of policies that are already in place. To some extent, in the last few months before an election year the response of the system always" is to slow down, Ahluwalia said.

He said the government is concentrating on “making sure that some of our large projects that are held up are cleared faster than they otherwise would be" in order to get “the economy back on track".

Ahluwalia said he expects the economy to grow at 6% in the next financial year, “depending upon the policies of the new government." India is due for an election in mid-2014.

Ahluwalia said India’s current account deficit (CAD) will be in the range of 2.5-2.7% of GDP this financial year.

CAD, the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange, was $88.2 billion or 4.8% of GDP in the previous fiscal year. The finance ministry expects CAD to be around $56 billion or less this financial year.

Fiscal deficit will be maintained at 4.8% of GDP, similar to last year, Ahluwalia said.

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