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Chidambaram expresses disappointment over sub-5 per cent growth

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NEW DELHI: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today expressed disappointment over sub-five per cent growth recorded in 2013-14, but hoped that the figures would be revised upwards.

The country’s economic growth remained subdued at 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 and at 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of the financial year, Central Statistics Office (CSO) data said.

“The GDP data for 2013-14 present a mixed picture … However, the growth rate for Q1 has been revised upward from 4.4 per cent to 4.7 per cent and for Q2 from 4.8 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

“It is therefore possible that the growth rate for the full year may undergo an upward revision. Nevertheless, I am disappointed that we could not achieve a growth rate of 5 per cent,” Chidambaram said in a statement. The clear winner, he said, is agriculture and “vindicates the policy measures” taken by the UPA-II government. The performers are electricity and finance, insurance, real estate and business services sectors of the economy.

The weak links are “mining” and “manufacturing”, he said. “Many bottlenecks in these two sectors were cleared and I hope that the benefits can be reaped in 2014-15,” Chidambaram added.
Referring to fiscal deficit, he expressed happiness that it has been contained at 4.5 per cent of the GDP in the last fiscal as against revised estimate of 4.6 per cent.

“I sincerely hope that the new government will adhere to the path of fiscal consolidation and reach the target of 3 per cent in 2016-17,” he added.

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