New Delhi: The government today expressed disappointment over the slowdown in the country’s GDP growth rate and said hard work is needed by all sections, including industry and farmers, to ensure inclusive growth, keeping in mind uncertainty over the global economy and monsoon.
“… It is no doubt disappointing,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters while commenting on GDP data for the April-June quarter, which showed that growth of the country’s economy slowed down to 7.7 per cent in the first quarter of FY’12 from 8.8 per cent in the corresponding year-ago period.
He said there was no room for complacency and everyone, including the government, industry and farming community, will have work hard. “There is no room for complacency. We shall have to work very hard — government, industry — and I am confident that our workers and farmers would make their contribution in ensuring growth with inclusion,” he said, adding that one of the important ingredients is creation of more jobs.
Expressing hope that the growth rate would pick up again, Mukherjee said, “We shall have to keep in mind that there are still some areas of uncertainty — uncertainty in global scenario, uncertainty, of course monsoon is not yet over, last leg is yet to be over.”
While the GDP growth figure is disappointing, Mukherjee said there was a “silver lining” to the country’s economic performance, as 27.7 million jobs were created between 2005 and 2010. Furthermore, there was 7.9 per cent year-on-year increase in overall investments during the first quarter this fiscal, compared to a 0.4 per cent rise in the corresponding year-ago period, which is encouraging, he said.
Mukherjee said he was expecting a higher growth rate in the first quarter, but given various factors — including the overall international scenario and the muted recovery in Europe and the US — the situation in India is “not that much disappointing”.
He hoped that the GDP growth rate would recover by the end of the fiscal, but refused to project any figure.
“When the final figures for year will be available, there may be a recovery… Of course (I am) not going to just now make any projections what would be the final figures for the year,” he said.
Referring to the growth in employment opportunities, Mukherjee said those “propagating” the view that this was jobless growth are wrong.
“… is not absolutely correct. They are wrong,” he said. However, at the same time, the Finance Minister said there should be more growth in employment generation.