Mumbai: Not happy with CSO's growth projection, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said there are signs of upturn in the economy and it is likely to grow at a higher rate of 5.5 percent this fiscal and further improve to 6-7 percent in 2013-14.
    
"While 5 percent growth rate of CSO is low and is a matter of concern...we believe growth will be closer to 5.5 percent rather than CSO's estimate of 5 percent", he said while launching the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) here.
    
The Minister further said that Central Statistical Organisation's (CSO) estimate of 5 percent was not the lowest of the decade.
    
"It is still higher than the two record lows of 2000-01 and 2002-03. There are signs of upturn and that will take us back to high growth path," Chidambaram said.
    
The Minister further said: "We should without any reason, denigrate our own performance and record.
    
"I have no doubt in my mind that we will come out of trough and we will climb back to growth rate of between 6-7 percent next year and then between 7 and 8 percent in the year after."
    
CSO's advance growth estimate of 5 percent for the current fiscal has evoked sharp reaction from Finance Ministry which said that it has based the projection on data available till November, and ignored the signs of uptrend.

Chidambaram said India is still the fastest growing economy in the world after China, Philippines and Indonesia.     

He said while the 5.5 percent growth rate is "satisfactory", but for India a 8 percent growth rate is imperative.
    
"The measures that we have taken... and will take in the coming days will put India to 8 percent path," he said, adding that upturn has started.
    
CSO's estimate of 5 percent growth is rather based on 'dated data', Chidambaram said, adding that "in the second half (of current fiscal) there are indications of green shoots in the economy".
    
The Indian economy grew by 5.4 percent in the first half of the current fiscal.
    
"Economy is indeed challenged. But I am confident that we will come out of the trough and we will climb back to high growth path," he said.
    
Chidambaram said the high growth path can be achieved with prudent and sound policy. "We can recapture the magic of 2004-08. The average growth was 8.5 percent during that period," he said while launching the MCX-SX.
    
Chidambaram also said while 5 percent growth rate of CSO is low and is a matter of concern, it is not the lowest growth in the decade.
    
It is still higher than record low seen in 2000-01 and 2002-03, he said.

(Agencies)

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