Economy has probably bottomed out: Sharma

Last Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 18:14

Mumbai: In view of marginal improvement in industrial output and exports, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Thursday hoped that the worst is over for the economy, and also pitched for lower interest rates to spur investments.

RBI is slated to review the monetary policy next week amid widespread demands for cut in interest rates by the central bank.

"We do hope that the downturn that we have seen has bottomed out...We do hope that next year will be different from last year. We will see more foreign direct investment coming... We feel our exports will definitely grow and GDP will grow above 6 percent in FY 2013-14," Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of the India Engineering Sourcing Show here.

Talking about inflation, which rose to 6.84 percent in February from 6.62 percent in the previous month, the minister said it remained a matter of concern.

However, non-food inflation has moderated, raising hopes of rate cut.

"Growth is a national priority. Inflation remains a matter of concern. I am sure every effort is made to address this challenge," he said.

He pitched for a rate cut by the RBI on Tuesday saying the government is in favour of the industry getting access to cheap credit.

"Of course, RBI has autonomy to take its decisions. But the need of the economy is more investments and dollar credit window," he said.

The index of industrial production (IIP) in January grew 2.4 percent on account of a perk-up in manufacturing and enhanced power generation.

Exports reported a surprise 4.2 percent growth in February, bringing down the trade deficit.


First Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 18:07

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