Panagariya Sticks to 8% Growth, Pins Hopes on Q4 'Surprise'

New Delhi
Panagariya Sticks to 8% Growth, Pins Hopes on Q4 'Surprise'

Keeping hopes alive for an 8 per cent growth rate this fiscal, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said GDP figures will get revised and there will be a surprise in the fourth quarter.

"I originally said we will get to 8 per cent for 2015-16. It's not ruled out entirely because at the end of the year, revisions do happen... So, there is still possibility that some of these rates might get revised," Panagariya told PTI in an interview.

"I still think we will get a surprise in the last quarter."

In December, the government had lowered its growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5 per cent from the earlier 8.1-8.5 per cent in its Mid-Year Economic Analysis presented in Parliament during the last session.

Earlier this week, industrial production data showed the sharpest decline in over four years, which fell to (-)3.2 per cent in November after a 5-year high of 9.9 per cent in October.

There are fears in certain quarters that Indian economy would not touch the 8 per cent growth mark against the backdrop of low global demand and subdued farm output.

Panagariya said, "For the whole year, given that current numbers are about an average 7.3 per cent, it is little harder to make up. To make up 0.7 per cent, you have to get 8.7 per cent in the second half."

Terming it as "a little uphill" unless the first two quarters get revised upwards, he said "I'll be quite happy if we get to the 8 per cent in the fourth quarter".

According to Central Statistics Office data, GDP grew at 7 per cent in April-June and 7.4 per cent in July-September this fiscal.

Economy in the first half of this fiscal expanded at 7.2 per cent compared with 7.5 per cent in the same period of the previous fiscal.

To a specific query on the GDP number the government is looking at in 2016-17, Panagariya said, "We (India) should aim at 8 per cent and higher. The economy is moving towards a comfortable position."

On the economy's growth potential in 2016-17, the NITI Aayog VC said, "Scope for GDP growth is enormous, but we have to do the things."

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