GDP growth to exceed 7.5% this fiscal, says DEA Secy
Enthused by 8.2 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018-19, the finance ministry exuded confidence that the economy could exceed estimated 7.5 per cent growth in the current fiscal.
Attributing the high quarterly performance to reforms and fiscal prudence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the efforts are serving the country well and India is witnessing an expansion of the neo-middle class.
"India's GDP for the first quarter this year growing at 8.2 per cent in otherwise an environment of global turmoil represents the potential of New India," he said.
Commenting on the number, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said the economy's performance is back to very very normal and good growth path is complete. "We had over 8 per cent of quarterly growth... Last time in the first quarter of 2016-17. After eight quarters we are at 8.2 per cent.
"...Last year when we had GDP dipped to 5.7 per cent that in the bottoming out of the economy and we will see a V-shaped recovery taking shape and with this quarter I think that V-shape recovery process is complete. So from 8.1 per cent we started reducing and now we have come to 8.2 per cent which signals economic growth now on a very steady, high growth path," he said.
Attributing the good quarterly performance to 13.5 per cent growth in the manufacturing sector, Garg said it signals very good turnaround of the manufacturing.
He further said the construction sector growing robustly at about 8.99 per cent also indicated in the cement, steel and other products, consumption and growth, he said.
"I think we are reasonably confident now that we could even exceed the higher end of this projection that we made and therefore the Indian economy would be performing robustly and very well and we'll definitely be the highest growing economy in the world," he said.
The latest Economic Survey projected that Indian economy would achieve growth rate of 7-7.5 per cent during 2018-19.
"But with these numbers now starting with very good numbers of 8.2 per cent, it gives us confidence that our robust performance should lead to probably higher than even 7.5 per cent for the entire year," he added.
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Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the GDP growth rate of 8.2 per cent for the April-June quarter of fiscal year 2018-19 indicates clearly that several structural reforms introduced such as Goods and Services Tax have started giving rich dividends.
"The growth in manufacturing sector (13.5 per cent) also indicates broad-based recovery of demand. It has been a remarkable speed of economic recovery in the last four quarters - 6.3 per cent, 7 per cent, 7.7 per cent and now 8.2 per cent," Adhia said.
Asked if there could be double digit growth, Garg said 10 per cent growth might happen in one quarter or so but 10 per cent for annual growth is very very ambitious and very big thing.
On the falling rupee, he said it will soon be in the range of Rs 68-70 against the US dollar. The rupee today crashed to a lifetime low of 71 per US dollar.
"On the whole our capital account performance is not bad at all. FDI in the first quarter has been up 13-14 per cent, FPI had some temporary reaction in the first quarter is also reversing and therefore even on capital capital we should have steady performance going and that is what gives me confidence that temporary violability in the Rupee should be gone," he said.
He also said that the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent for the current fiscal would be met.
Revenues received more in the last quarter and then they grow from second, third, fourth, he said, adding first quarter you have more of expenditure, less revenue and trend is quite opposite in the last quarter.
"So fiscal deficit at 86 per cent (of the budgeted target for the current fiscal) in first four months does not indicate any severe fiscal stress. We are exactly on our plans as far as fiscal management is concerned. Last year you would have seen that there were months when fiscal deficit actually exceeded 100 per cent. This year it might also happen," he said.
"So don't worry at all we are absolutely on target on fiscal performance. Our fiscal deficit, fiscal performance is completely on track. And as I said the other day, we are perfectly confident that fiscal turnout this year, which we plan to be 3.3 per cent, will not be exceed at all," he said.