India can grow faster if it executes investments: PM aide

NEW DELHI - India's economy could grow at an annual rate of as much as 7 per cent if large-scale investment projects are implemented quickly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's economic adviser said on Wednesday.

"Delay in completion of projects and critical inputs is hitting the economic growth," C. Rangarajan, chairman of Singh's Economic Advisory Council, said at a book presentation.

Economists expect figures on Friday to show that gross domestic product grew by just 4.9 per cent in the final quarter of the 2013 calendar year, close to its lowest in a decade.

Capital investment is still stagnant even after a cabinet task force set up by Singh last year fast-tracked the approval of infrastructure projects worth US$80 billion (S$101.2 billion) - equivalent to around 5 per cent of gross domestic product.