Mumbai: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pegged India’s growth for 2011 downward to around 8 percent on the back of high inflation and overall global economic outlook, surrounded by escalating commodity prices led by oil.

"As new downside risks have emerged across the globe, and particularly in Asia Pacific economies with many of them overheating, we revise downwards our growth for the region and also for India, where we see the growth momentum decelerating this fiscal to around 8 percent," said IMF director, Asia Pacific department, Anoop Singh.

IMF had earlier also moderated the country growth projection to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent.

"In 2011, the pace and composition of growth will continue to show notable differences across Asia. China and India are expected to lead the rest of the region with China growing by 9.5 percent and India by around 8 percent," Singh said.

He was speaking after he presented its latest report on the Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific: Managing the Next Phase of Growth to the Reserve Bank officials in Mumbai.

Earlier, international financial lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) had also revised its growth projection for India to 8.2 percent for this calender year from earlier estimate of 8.7 percent, on account of high prices.

The Reserve Bank of India, while announcing the monetary policy on May 3, had said that the country's economy would grow to around 8 percent while the Budget pegged growth at 9 percent over even more.

Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu had indicated that the government would revise downward the growth forecast for the year. Last fiscal, the economy is believed to have grown by 8.6 percent.

"All over the world there has been revision of growth prospects. So we might go in for a revision. Obviously, it is not going to be upwards," Basu had said in Delhi.      

Meanwhile, the IMF report said that for the whole of Asia, it expects growth to remain robust at a sustainable pace of nearly 7 percent for this year as well as the next.

Emphasising on the need for taming inflation and rising pressures of overheating of many Asian economies, the report states, “Asia's rapid growth has been accompanied by the emergence of overheating pressures, in both goods and asset prices, as output gaps have generally closed."

On the newly emerged risks to growth, the report says, fiscal and financial vulnerabilities continue to cloud the view for advance economies and new downside risks in emerging markets wherein the Japanese disaster, rising oil and food prices could affect Asia's growth and inflation outlook.

"The terrible losses suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan followed by a prolonged disruption of industrial production, could affect other economies in Asia and elsewhere which are linked to Japan through supply chain," says the report.

Answering a question whether India will be able to achieve its ambitious fiscal deficit target in the wake of likely deceleration in growth, the IMF director Anoop Singh said, "The government is very much resolved to doing so. After all we are only in the beginning of the year."

The Budget 2012 has pegged the fiscal deficit at 4.6 percent of GDP or Rs 4.13 lakh crore, while the same is believed to have closed at 5.1 percent in last fiscal on the back of the spectrum haul and reduced public spending by the Centre.

The government collected Rs 1.08 lakh crore from 3G and broadband wireless access spectrum auctions last financial year, which helped it reduce the fiscal deficit from 5.5 percent estimated earlier to 5.1 percent.

Lauding the hawkish monetary policy stance taken by the Apex Bank, Singh said, “We strongly welcome the steps that RBI has taken and remain confident about its stated policy stance to maintain an interest rate environment that moderates inflation and anchors inflationary expectations."

(Agencies)