New Delhi, March 30 IANS | 5 months ago

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Sunday said a survey by it pointed to improved economic growth in the next fiscal.


"The GDP growth for the year 2014-15 is projected at 5.5 percent. The participating economists expect the industrial sector to also recover in the next fiscal with an estimated growth of 3.3 percent," the industry chamber said in a statement here.

Agriculture and services sector growth in the next financial year is pegged at 3.3 percent and 7 per cent, respectively, according to FICCI's 'Economic Outlook Survey'.

It also estimates that growth in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal will pick up marginally to five percent.

"However, this might imply that actual growth in the year 2013-14 will be slightly lower than the growth of 4.9 percent projected by the Central Statistical Organization some time back," the chamber said.

On inflation, it said that a majority of the surveyed felt that going ahead both the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation rates would remain range-bound.

The median forecast for fiscal deficit as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) stands at 4.4 percent for 2014-15. This is higher than the 4.1 percent estimate announced last month by Finance minister P. Chidambaram in the interim budget.

The government's subsidy burden continues to be a bothering factor and can lead to fiscal slippages, according to the economists polled.

"India's subsidy burden has ballooned considerably in the past few years and it is imperative that we take a firm stand and restrict unproductive subsidies," the statement said.

"The government must also allow market forces to play a fuller role in determining the price of fuel products in particular," it added.

On the external sector, the survey pegs current account deficit to remain in the comfort zone at 2.2 percent in 2014-15.

On the prospects for the industrial sector, the participating economists in the survey cited the high cost of borrowing and delays in government approvals as the key reasons hindering investments.

(Posted on 30-03-2014)