GDP in 2011-12 may be above 7 pc: PMEAC chief

Mumbai: Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory panel chief C Rangarajan today said the economic growth rate in 2011-12 could be over 7 per cent, slightly higher than the projection of the Central Statistical Organisation.

"If industrial production picks off in the current quarter, then I will not be surprised if the final or revised estimate is 7 per cent or more than 7 per cent," Rangarajan, who is the Chairman of the Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory Council, said here.

His comments came after the CSO, in its Advanced Estimates, said the economic growth is likely to fall to a three-year low of 6.9 per cent in 2011-12.

This, it said, was mainly due to sharp slowdown in manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors, against 8.4 per cent expansion in the last fiscal.

"The numbers (in Advanced Estimates) are below 7 per cent but my expectation is that when the final estimate comes it will be more than 7 per cent for this fiscal," Rangarajan said.

As per the data, agriculture and allied activities are likely to grow at 2.5 per cent in 2011-12, compared to a robust growth of 7 per cent in 2010-11.

Manufacturing growth is also expected to drop down to 3.9 per cent in this fiscal from 7.6 per cent last year.

The CSO`s GDP growth projection is a tad lower than the 7 per cent forecast made by the Reserve Bank of India in its quarterly monetary policy review last month.

In its mid-year Economic Review, the government had pegged growth at around 7.5 per cent.