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India needs to be ever ready to deal with crisis: FM

New Delhi: Exuding confidence that India will be able to come out of every difficult situation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the country needs to be ever ready to respond to external shocks on real time basis.

Addressing CII`s Annual General Meeting and National Conference here, he said that like in the past three financial years, India could confront any situation successfully in the future. "However, at the same time, we shall have to keep in mind, complacency can turn out to be our worst enemy. We need to be ever ready to confront external shocks and also respond on a real time basis to all the issues which may come in way," he said.

Global recovery, amid the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in some European nations, has been weak and uncertain.

Post 2008, Mukherjee said, global recovery is turning out to be harder than expected. "We are not yet completely insulated from the evolving global economic scenario," he said, pointing out that there has been moderation in FII inflows in the country, which in turn has affected stock markets and depreciation of the domestic currency.

The global financial crisis, which surfaced in September 2008, had also impacted India`s economic growth. However, with the help of three stimulus packages, India managed to record 8.4 per cent economic growth in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and clocked an estimated 6.9 per cent GDP expansion last fiscal.

"Given the overall fundamentals, the estimated growth of GDP of 6.9 per cent in 2011-12 appears to disappointing," Mukherjee said while attributing the slowdown to poor performance by the industrial and agriculture sectors.

However, the Finance Minister added, "Let the year of interrupted developments be the story of past. Let the year in which we have just entered be the story of turning around and moving ahead".

The government has projected the GDP growth for 2012-13 at 7.6 per cent. On the price situation, Mukherjee said sustained high level of inflation had been a cause of worry for policy makers, but it has now started moderating. However, he expressed concern over spike in the food inflation in March and called for bridging the gap between demand and supply.

The Finance Minister pegged the inflation during the current fiscal at 6-7 per cent. "I am confident that during the current financial year, the rate of inflation would see some moderation and remain with in 6-7 per cent. Though it is high, but for the time being, perhaps, we will have to rest with it," he said.

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