Expect 8% growth in two-three years: Montek
Jan 10 2013 , New Delhi
"India is growing just below 6 per cent at the moment and the government hopes to take it to 8 per cent over a two-to- three year period which is not an unreasonable expectation," he said in an interview to private news channel CNBC-TV18.
Terming HSBC's projection at 5.2 per cent for the current fiscal as incorrect, Ahluwalia said the second half is likely to be better than the first half's.
HSBC has recently lowered India's growth forecast for 2012-13 to 5.2 per cent from 5.7 per cent projected earlier, and for the next fiscal to 6.2 per cent from 6.9 per cent.
"HSBC probably got it wrong...I do not expect a further deceleration of GDP growth. In the first half of the year, GDP growth was around 5.4 per cent. My expectation is that in the second half of the year, when the data comes in GDP growth will be higher than 5.4 per cent. HSBC forecast is excessively pessimistic", he said.
On likelihood of increase in diesel prices, he said, "I am not speculating on what government might do in the next week or two. That is something the ministry of petroleum has to decide ... Some graduated adjustment is necessary but exactly when and by how much, is really left to the discretion of the oil ministry."
The 12th Plan document, he added, had made it clear that it was essential to align domestic fuel prices with global prices as the under-recovery on petroleum was very large.
As regards the widening Current Account Deficit (CAD), Ahluwalia said it should be brought down to about 3 per cent in the next few years and 2 per cent by 2016-17, the last year of the 12th Plan.
According to latest figures, CAD, which is difference between exports and imports after taking into account remittances and other payments, was 5.4 per cent in July-September quarter of 2012-13.
The government, he hoped, would take steps to deal with the situation in the forthcoming budget as "it is not unwilling to take difficult decisions. The government has already taken several of them."