The Planning Commission today said it will revisit the annual average GDP growth target of 8 per cent for the Twelfth Plan (2012-17) in view of the dismal performance in the first two years of the policy period, while saying the economy is likely to expand by over 5 per cent this fiscal.

“We have not made a short-term estimate. We are relying on whatever the Finance Ministry is saying. At the moment I don’t see any reason to disagree with what the Finance Ministry is saying,” the Commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on the growth projection for this fiscal.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference here.

Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry had said the Indian economy would grow by over 5 per cent in the current fiscal on the back of high farm productivity and investments.

“It (GDP) will be more than 5 per cent, it cannot be less than 5 per cent,” Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram had said.

When asked whether the economy would growth at a rate over 5 per cent this fiscal as projected by the Finance Ministry, Ahluwalia replied, “It is not ruled out. That is what I hope.”

Reeling under the impact of a slowdown, the Indian economy grew by 5 per cent in 2012-13, the first year of the 12th Plan. The first quarter (April-June) economic growth in this fiscal has slipped to 4.4 per cent from 4.8 per cent in the previous January-March quarter.

When asked about possible tinkering with the annual average economic growth target of 8 per cent in the 12th Plan, Ahluwalia said, “The Planning Commission will certainly revisit the growth prospects.”

“I remain of the view that the medium term 8 per cent average economic growth remains valid but it will take longer to get there because (the growth in) first two years have been disappointingly low,” he added.

The Commission comes out with a mid-term review of Plans during the third financial year of the policy period.

In its last mid-term review, the Commission had cut the annual average growth rate target of 9 per cent to 8.2 per cent for the 11th Five Year Plan period (2007-12). But only 8 per cent average annual economic growth was achieved during the Plan period.

The 12th Plan document itself talks about the different growth scenarios. It said in the absence of sufficient action to promote the economy, the average growth would range from 6 to 6.5 per cent.