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U.S. Fed stimulus decision could boost India growth - official

Labourers fit iron rods at the construction site of a metro train station in Chennai August 22, 2013. REUTERS/Babu

By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India could enjoy a 0.5-percentage-point boost to its economic growth in the near term thanks to the U.S. Federal Reserve's surprise decision to delay winding down its monetary stimulus, the finance ministry's top economic adviser said on Thursday.

The Fed's decision will give India an opportunity to step up growth to 6.5 percent by March 2014, Dipak Dasgupta, the ministry's principal economic adviser, told Reuters.

"It was a huge surprise, huge surprise," said Dasgupta. "It has been a very positive decision."

"I think from our growth perspective this decision by itself has the potential to add about 50 basis points to our growth in the near term," he said.

The government's current growth forecasts range from about 5.3 percent to 6 percent for the fiscal year ending in March 2014.

(Writing by Frank Jack Daniel)