Pranab: 7.5 to 8 pc growth in next fiscal

New Delhi: The government will endeavour to raise the economic growth rate to 7.5to 8 per cent in the next fiscal from about 7 per cent currently, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"PMEAC (Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory Council) has pegged growth over 7 per cent this year and 7.5-8 per cent for next year. We will try to achieve that growth rate," he said while talking to reporters here.

The PMEAC in its review of economy released yesterday had projected a growth rate of 7.5-8 per cent for 2012-13. For the current fiscal, the Council pegged the growth rate at 7.1 per cent, marginally more than 6.9 per cent projected by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).

The economy grew by 8.4 per cent in 2010-11. Mukherjee is expected to announce steps to boost the economy in the Budget for 2012-13 to be presented in the Lok Sabha on March 16.

Referring to the concerns expressed by PMEAC on widening Current Account Deficit (CAD), Mukherjee said, "CAD is a matter of concern. I think we will be able to manage CAD." He added,"Our export basket and destination are getting diversified, with that exports should get a boost", he added.

Making a case for reducing CAD, which reflects the gap in inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, PMEAC had said, "it will… be judicious to try and limit the CAD…especially as long as international financial markets continue to be adversely impacted by the troubles in the Eurozone." Pointing out that the CAD during 2011-12 was likely to be 3.6 per cent of GDP, the Council had said that efforts were needed to bring it down to 2-2.5 per cent.

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