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Pranab Mukherjee: Indian economy will grow 8.25-8.75 percent

New Delhi, Oct 26 (Calcutta Tube) The Indian economy is witnessing clear signals of an all-round recovery thanks to the fiscal stimulus measures since December 2008, and the country will grow at 8.25-8.75 percent this fiscal, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Tuesday.

‘The recovery is also broad-based across industry, services and agriculture,’ Mukherjee said, inaugurating the annual Economic Editors’ Conference here, attended by some 300 journalists from across India.

The minister said India was expected to grow at 8.25-8.75 percent this fiscal as the economy was now gaining momentum from the pre-crisis period of 2008 and 2009 due to one of the worst global slowdowns in nearly eight decades.

‘Our intent now is for a gradual exit from the stimulus measures.’

India’s gross domestic product had expanded by 8.8 percent in the first quarter of this fiscal, led by a robust 12.4 percent expansion in the manufacturing sector. The economy had expanded by just 6 percent in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Mukherjee said there was a revival of both investment and consumption demand that will augur well for the industrial sector, even as the country’s exports had started picking up from November last year.

He also said the fiscal deficit target of 5.5 percent for this fiscal will be met.

Among those who addressed the inaugural session of the two-day conference included the two ministers of state in the finance ministry, S.S. Palanimanickam and Namo Narain Meena, apart from Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla.

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