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Greenshoots visible, 5-5.5% growth likely: Chidambaram

He called upon bankers to deal firmly with wilful defaulters

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Encouraged by some greenshoots, Finance Minister today exuded confidence the economy will recover in the second half and clock 5-5.5 per cent growth in 2013-14 but cautioned investigative authorities should not treat all commercial decisions as motivated or malicious.

He also called upon bankers to deal firmly with wilful defaulters, but handhold those who are reeling under the impact of economic slowdown.

"As far a government is concerned, I assure you as long as you take decision based on facts and circumstances available to you at that time and do it at an appropriate level and an appropriate committee or an appropriate forum and exercise your best judgement, we will defend you and stand by you", he said while addressing bankers and economists at Bancon 2013.

He further said the government will be able to contain fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent of the and narrow down the current account deficit (CAD) to below USD 56 billion, though still continues to be worrisome.

"The green shoots that are visible here and there, will multiply and the economy will revive. There will be an upturn in the second half of this year and it is quite possible that the estimates made by the Reserve Bank or the PMEAC or the government of growth between 5-5.5 per cent will be realised," he said.

Chidambaram said that it was a pity for a country of India's size not to achieve its potential growth rate of over 8 per cent.

The economic growth rate slipped to decade's low of 5 per cent in 2012-13 and during the first quarter of current fiscal it stood at 4.4 per cent.

The growth figures for the second quarter are scheduled to be announced on November 29.

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