Hoping the revised global growth projections would help economic recovery, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday, said efforts were under way to keep inflation within the 6-7 per cent range during the current financial year.
Inaugurating the annual meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Mukherjee said the country was not completely insulated from the evolving global economic scenario. The Finance Minister said the moderation in FII flows was in tune with indicators in other emerging and developing economies.
He said the country had handled the crisis during the past three years but cautioned there was no scope for complacency. “We need to be ever ready to confront external shocks and respond on a real time basis,” he added. Asserting that inflation was a major policy concern, he said the government had been making all efforts to address the demand and supply-related problems. “We have to be careful and bridge the structural gaps to improve availability of high demand for food items, including animal proteins, edible oils and fruit and vegetable,” he added.
Mr. Mukherjee said he was concerned with over the current slowdown in industrial production. He said the focus would be on removing the domestic constraints by taking care of the supply-side and infrastructure constraints.
The way forward was to boost investment and create assets, but the government alone could not meet the challenge. The private sector had to come forward and step up investment, he said.
Mr. Mukherjee said his budgetary exercise was formulated with due diligence. He said he would do his best to contain government expenditure during the current financial year to the projected figure.
Expecting the growth rate to be around 7.6 per cent during 2012-13, Mr. Mukherjee was apprehensive of the global oil prices. “We will have to take necessary steps to minimise their impact in the coming months.”