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Survey projects robust growth next fiscal

Ashok Dasgupta

NEW DELHI: Painting a rosy picture on the eve of the Union budget, the Economic Survey 2009-10 argues for a gradual rollback of stimulus measures while projecting a robust GDP expansion of up to 8.75 per cent in 2010-11 on the back of a “remarkable recovery” growth expected at 7.2 per cent for the current fiscal.

Tabled in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, the Survey noted that the stimulus packages by way of calibrated policy measures such as increased public spending and cut in excise duty and service tax helped the economy tide over the slowdown, which was triggered by the global financial turmoil, and the government’s focus should now shift to improving its kitty in terms of tax and non-tax revenue and containing the increased deficit.

Favouring a partial rollback of the stimulus, as was suggested by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council last week for a scale-up in excise and service tax rates as a measure of fiscal consolidation, the Survey said: “… The broad-based nature of the recovery creates scope for a gradual rollback, in due course, of some of the measures undertaken over the last 15-18 months ... so as to put the economy back on to the growth path of nine per cent annually.” Full recovery, it said, could be expected over the next two fiscal years with up to 8.75 (+/- 0.25) per cent growth in 2010-11 and nine per cent during 2011-12.

The current economic buoyancy in tandem with reforms would make India possibly the fastest growing economy in four years, it said, pointing to the high levels of savings and investment.

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