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Economy to grow over 8.75% in FY11: FM


New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today exuded confidence that the Indian economy will post better growth than 8.75% this fiscal, as projected by the economic survey, reports PTI.

"I am optimistic that at the end of this year we will be able to surpass our gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 8.5%-8.75% given in the Economic Survey," Mr Mukherjee said at a function on Indo-German Industrial and Economic cooperation.

Indian economic growth slowed down to 6.7% in 2008-09 from 9% in the previous three years, as an aftermath of the global financial crisis.

To blunt the impact of the global crisis, the government provided stimulus to the economy by cutting taxes and stepping up public expenditure. This catapulted economic growth to 7.4% last fiscal.

The Indian economy expanded by 8.8% in the first quarter of this fiscal against 6% a year ago. The first quarter growth this fiscal is encouraging, particularly since the government partially withdrew the stimulus by raising excise duty by 2% to 10%.

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Consciously did not counter Vedanta's offer to buy Cairn: ONGC

New Delhi: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) today said that it "consciously" decided not to make a rival offer to Vedanta Resources' $9.6 billion offer to acquire a majority stake in Cairn India, reports PTI.

"Counter offer date is gone. If ONGC did not make an offer, that was done consciously," ONGC chairman and MD R S Sharma told reporters here.

London-listed Vedanta Resources is buying 40%-51% stake of Cairn India from its UK parent Cairn Energy Plc that owns the nation's largest onland oil field for up to $8.48 billion.

It is making a further open offer for another 30% stake which will give billionaire Anil Aggarwal-run group a 60% stake in Cairn India.

"ONGC management is fully conscious of its interest and responsibility and has acted in a responsible manner," Mr Sharma said on not making a rival offer to Vedanta's bid.

ONGC, which is a 30% partner with Cairn India in the giant Rajasthan oil field, had claimed that it had pre-emption or right of first refusal in Cairn India assets, like the Rajasthan block.

Asked if ONGC had waived that pre-emption right, Mr Sharma said, "I did not say that. All I have said is that we did not make a rival offer by the close of deadline (on 7th September) as per Indian capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) norm."

"That has been a conscious decision considering all legal aspects, considering all commercial aspects and the interest of the company," he said.

Mr Sharma said ONGC will act on the issue keeping the interest and responsibilities of the company in mind.

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