Close to 6% growth on manufacturing picking up in Jan-Mar: Rangarajan

Rangarajan

Whereas our imports are higher, because we are growing at a higher rate. It is this itself, is causing a certain imbalance in the system," he said.

Current account deficit, measured by the difference between country's exports of goods, services and transfers to total import within a time period, was 4.2 per cent in 2011-12. It touched a record high of 5.4 per cent in the July-September quarter (Q2) this fiscal.

"There is also a focused attention on the part of the government to achieve the production and capacity utilisation targets in some of the key infrastructure sectors such as coal, power, roads and Railways.

"And this in my view will act as a stimulant for private economic activity and will result with the growth rate of economy picking up and expect growth rate next year to be seven percent," Rangarajan said.

On gold imports, he said India imported USD 60 billion of the metal in 2011-12.

"If you look at the average in the previous years, it used to high. It was around USD 35-40 billion. But last year it was USD 60 billion. Why this extraordinary increase? There are many reasons for it. One is, attraction towards the yellow metal. And of course, to some extent gold is becoming a hedge against inflation," he said.

Gold imports, as of numbers available up to October and November last year, have softened, he said.

"We have also taken some action in order to discourage the import of gold. But as we move ahead, we need to contain the balance of payments deficit," he said.

Besides gold, he said imports of coal and oil remained high, too.

"The other imports are also high. Coal imports are also high. When the domestic production was not picking up, it was substituted by imports of coal. And the other, oil import remains very high. One had expected that because of the slowdown in the economy of advanced countries, there would be some decline in oil prices, but it did not happen", he said.

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