Continuing slowdown in industrial growth and its spillover effect on the service sector, a deficient monsoon and worsening global economic conditions are expected to drag Indian economic growth to 6-6.2 per cent in the fiscal 2012-13, a survey of economists and industry leaders has indicated. Notably, the Indian economic growth had slowed to 6.5 per cent, a nine-year low during the financial year 2011-12.
As the overall business
confidence has further eroded in the first quarter of the current fiscal, the outlook survey indicated that the gross domestic product may grow even slower than the RBI’s lower projections of 6.5 per cent as the risks have increased on several counts.
The survey found that the prospects of growth in agricultural sector are dismal. In fact, the agricultural sector, which grew at about 2.5 per cent in 2011-12, may not show any growth this year since sowing of the khariff crops, the main stay of the sector, has been affected due to inadequate rains.
In this background, the survey respondents found that the industrial expansion at best could be just about 4-4.5 per cent for the year while the services sector, the major contributor to the GDP is also showing signs of weakness. Mining is at a near standstill due to inadequate regulatory environment and manufacturing is at low ebb.
However, majority of the survey participants pointed out that all is not lost, if immediate steps are taken to address the policy issues. These include addressing bottlenecks facing the infrastructure projects and removing hurdles in the way of the foreign direct investment.
“The Reserve Bank of India
has rightly pointed out that the Indian economy is at the cross-road. As the central bank called it, the economy can ‘spin up or down depending on how the policy uncertainty is addressed and supporting measures put in place’. Even though confidence level is low, urgent remedial measures can retrieve the situation,” Assocham's President Rajkumar Dhoot said.
The immediate measures are required, since the global headwinds are staked against most economies in the world, including emerging markets of India, China and Brazil. While China may soft-land with growth below nine per cent, India and Brazil would find it more difficult to cope up.
As many as 75 per cent of those included in the survey said that the persisting Euro zone problems and weakening growth in developing economies (EDEs) will be weighing on the global growth in 2012. The deceleration in BRICS countries, which have so far been pushing growth in the emerging and developing markets has made things even more difficult for the global recovery.