Growth rate will soon reach 9% - Pranab Mukherjee

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee exuded confidence that economy would shortly revert to 9 pc growth rate but identified rising prices as a major concern, although inflation has declined to 8.6 pc from double digits in June. For India, the ideal inflation rate would be 4-5 percent although it may be difficult to attain, the minister said while inaugurating the Economic Editors' Conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. "I will try to bring it (inflation) down through whatever mechanism we have...it would be ideal if we have 4-5 per cent, but may be difficult. But I do feel that annualised inflation rate would be around six per cent," Mukherjee said.
Inflation, which has emerged as a big political issue, was 8.6 percent in September. However, food inflation was 15.53 percent for the week ending 9th October. Attributing inflation mainly to rising food prices, Mukherjee said, "In terms of consumer price indices (retail prices), inflation in the three major groups -- industrial workers, agricultural labour and rural labour -- have come down to single digit level." As regards economic growth, Mukherjee said he hoped it would be 8.5 percent (plus/minuus 0.25 percent) during 2009-10, rising further to 9 percent in short term. "It is reasonable to expect that the economy will go back to robust growth path of around 9 per cent average that it was before the global crisis slowed it down", Mukherjee said.