DELHI - Figures were released Friday showing India's economy grew at its slowest pace in a decade during the 2012-13 financial year. 

Low business confidence, slumping investment, high inflation and weak export demand from Western countries were blamed for the bleak performance, which comes ahead of national elections scheduled next year, writes the BBC

The Times of India says that farming, manufacturing and mining sectors all registered poor performances. The economy had grown by 6.2 percent in 2011-12 and these figures are a far cry from the 9 percent annual expansion recorded until two years ago, says Reuters

A recovery in annual industrial production and exports along with slowing inflation is also holding out some hope for the country, reports India TodayThese figures come after Thursday's OECD Economic Outlook report that ranked India the third-largest economy in the world.

"China will likely pass the United States as the world's largest economy in the next few years and India has probably recently surpassed Japan to be third largest," it said. 

Until around 2020, China is set to have to highest growth rate among major countries, but could be then surpassed by India, it further said.

“Business activity is still sluggish," Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist with state-run Bank of Baroda told the AFP ahead of the release of the data."The government needs to go all-out to turn around investment sentiment," said Yes Bank chief economist Shubhada Rao.

The government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has been dogged by corruption scandals during its second term in office and has struggled to push through promised pro-business legislation, according to the Hindustan Times.

[BRICS Summit 2012. (L-R: Dilma Rousseff, Vladimir Putin, Manmohan Singh, Hu Jintao, Jacob Zuma. Photo by Blog do Planalto]