Indian biz lobby eyes 7pc growth

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, May 23:

The Indian economy is likely to post a healthy seven per cent growth in the current fiscal on improved agriculture sector output for the second consecutive year, said a premier business chamber. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) discounted fears of poor agriculture growth dragging down the economy in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2005, saying effect of good winter crop will be felt in the first half of the year. "Given that the Meteorological Department has predicted that the monsoon is likely to be normal this year, it will not be difficult for agricultural output to grow by a few percentage points," states a CII study report.

Based on the assumption of up to two per cent agriculture growth in 2004-05 over an estimated nine percent growth in the previous fiscal, it stated, "The resulting GDP growth estimate lies in the range of 6.6 per cent to seven per cent in 2004-05." The business lobby group also revised its growth estimate for 2003-04 to 8.4 per cent from the earlier government projection of 8.1 per cent. Factoring a nine per cent GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2003-04, followed by 10.4 per cent in the third quarter, one of the highest globally, the CII has raised its estimate for the fiscal year 2003-04.