Declining prices of crude oil and food will help lower inflation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday and expressed confidence that economic growth in the current fiscal will be in the 5.5-5.9 per cent range.
"The major priority of the government is to bring back growth momentum into country's economy. The Indian economy has potential for achieving and sustaining higher growth," Jaitley said while addressing the Consultative Committee meeting iin New Delhi.
For 2014-15, the minister expects that the growth could be in the range of 5.5-5.9 per cent, said a Finance Ministry statement after the meeting.
Jaitley outlined major priorities of the government as reviving and sustaining higher GDP growth, increasing savings, fiscal consolidation, keeping the Current Account Deficit at moderate level and reviving investment cycle, among others.
Decline in investments and the manufacturing sector output pulled down the economic growth in last two fiscals to below 5 per cent. The economy grew at 4.7 per cent in 2013-14.
Jaitley said the recent decline in international oil prices as also domestic food items point towards lower inflation in the coming months.
WPI inflation moderated to 5-year low of 2.38 per cent mainly on account of decline in food prices.
"The capital flows to finance Current Account Deficit is adequate and further moderation in CAD can be expected in 2014-15 due to lower oil prices," Jaitley said.
CAD, which is the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign currency, touched a record high of 4.7 per cent in 2012-13 fiscal. It came down to 1.7 per cent in 2013-14.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures fell below $86 a barrel. The oil benchmark has fallen more than 9 per cent so far in October.
Jaitley also outlined boosting manufacturing sector growth, infrastructure sector and exports, tackling food inflation, rationalising subsidies and reforms in direct and indirect taxes as his priority areas.
"Higher growth leads to more revenue collections, better employment opportunities and increase in Government's capacity to finance social sector programmes," he said.
The meeting was attended by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, besides five secretaries in the Finance Ministry.