Economic Survey Sees GDP Growth At 7-7.5% Next Year Vs 6.75% This Year

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The economy should grow between 7 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal year starting April 1, 2018, with exports and private investment set to rebound, the Economic Survey says. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the survey, the annual report card of the country’s financial health, in Parliament on Monday as the Budget session began.

The Economic Survey sees GDP growth at 6.75 per cent in the current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2018. It says a series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow real GDP growth to rise to between 7.0 per cent and 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, thereby reinstating India as the world’s fastest growing major economy.

Stock markets remained strong in afternoon trade with Sensex and Nifty rising to record highs. The Sensex was up over 350 points while Nifty traded above 11,150.

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, who has prepared the Economic Survey, said in a tweet that growth is reviving after temporary decoupling. There are robust and broad-based signs of revival in economic activity, he added.

The economic survey says the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), resolution of long-festering bad loans under the Bankruptcy Code, the implementation of a bank recapitalisation package for public sector banks and further liberalisation of the foreign direct investment regime will lift GDP growth, which began to accelerate from the second half of the current fiscal year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects the Indian economy to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018, which will make it the fastest growing country among emerging economies. The IMF has also projected a growth rate of 7.8 per cent for India in 2019.

The economic survey has flagged risks from rising oil prices. “Some of the factors could have dampening effect on GDP growth in the coming year viz. the possibility of an increase in crude oil prices in the international market,” it says.

It has also said that concerns have been expressed about growing protectionist tendencies in some countries but it remains to be seen as to how the situation unfolds.

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COMMENTSThe survey also listed out a series of policy agendas for fiscal 2018-19. These include lending an unequivocal support to agriculture sector, stablilising the GST, completing and recapitalisation of PSU banks and privatisation of Air India.

The economic survey is tabled ahead of the presentation of the union budget. Mr Jaitley will present the budget for 2018-19 on Thursday, February 1.ndtv