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GDP growth to be between 7.5 to 8pct - Mr Rangarajan

Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council chairman Mr C Rangarajan has projected a GDP growth rate of 7.5% to 8% in the FY12 financial year.

Mr Rangarajan said that "Initially, the growth rate forecast for FY12 by the council was 8.2%. The world situation is not very encouraging and it may vary between 7.5% to 8%.” He said that India has the potential of growing at 9% in a sustained way.

Mr Rangarajan a former governor of the RBI said that India's savings rate has crossed 34% of GDP, while the investment rate exceeds 36%. He added that "Even with an incremental capital-output ratio of four, the Indian economy will be able to grow at 9% in a sustained way.”

Referring to broader macro-economic concerns, he said that the target of keeping the fiscal deficit at 4.6% of the GDP for FY12 would be difficult.

In this context, he said that the government should take a look at its expenditure, particularly subsidies.

Over the medium-term, the government's aim would be to achieve the fiscal responsibility and budget management target of 3% of the GDP.

Mr Rangarajan said the two sectors of the economy that pose a major challenge were farming and power. He said on the face of falling yields of major cereals in the country, steps would have to be taken to improve productivity.

Mr Rangarajan said that "The last two years have clearly shown decline in farm production. The agriculture sector should grow at 4%.”

Referring to the power sector, he said that capacity addition would have to be made aggressively as shortages result in production losses and affect profitability and competitiveness.

Mr Rangarajan also said that supply side constraints would have to be addressed to check inflation.

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