India's economy expected to grow at a rate of 6.3 per cent, says Ahluwalia

      Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, on Monday said that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at a rate 6.3 per cent during this financial year. Ahluwalia said this on the sidelines of the launch of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) 2009 Human Development Report in the national capital. "Drought which was a very big concern is still there. It will have a negative effect, but it will still have probably less negative effect than originally thought. There is a sign of revival in the rest of the economy," Ahluwalia said. "So, I'm not revising the original forecast that the Planning Commission had made a couple of months ago, that the growth for the year as whole will be 6.3 per cent, but now I'm eliminating the downside possibilities of that forecast. So, I think 6.3 is very reasonable and could be even better," he added. Ahluwalia further said that the Government was concerned over the high prices of food and vegetable items, but hopes that with the revival of monsoon, prices it would soon come back to normal. "Food prices are higher than they should be. We are very concerned about that. We need to ensure that through measures to increase supply, supplementing domestic supply by imports where possible and through better effective functioning of the public distribution system," Ahluwalia said. "The food price inflation has brought under control and I'm fairly hopeful that it will be, especially because that drought is not now felt to be as bad as one once thought. So, the speculative pressure which may have led to somewhat higher prices will slowly begin to ease," he added. Ahluwalia also said that the economy is reviving and inflation would remain under 5 per cent.

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