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Saturday, 06 January 2018 | PNS | New Delhi- With poor performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, country’s economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2017-18, the lowest under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government. “Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and subsequent slowdown in the manufacturing sector is expected to drag down India’s growth to 6.5 per cent in 2017-18,” said the Government’s official data which was released by Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday. India’s projected economic growth rate for 2017-18 will be lower than the 7.1 per cent achieved in 2016-17. Chief Statistician TCA Anant said, “The de-stocking disruption caused due to the GST implementation has impacted the full-year GDP estimates.” The GDP data could be revised upwards as the current projections are based on incomplete output and corporate income data, amid signs that people are buying more goods and companies are adding new capacities to meet growing demand. The second advance estimates to be released on February 28 and the provisional estimate in May 2018 would give a better picture of the health of the economy. According to the GDP estimate  for 2017-18 released by the CSO, the GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2017-18 is likely to attain a level of Rs 129.85 lakh crore. Earlier, the country’s GDP growth for the second quarter of the current fiscal that ended on September 30 was 6.3 per cent — up from 5.7 per cent reported during the first quarter of 2017-18. As far economic trend is concerned, a rebound in household spending and corporate investments hold out hopes of rapid recovery from the twin disruptions of implementation of both demonetisation and GST. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier estimated the economy would grow around 7.5 per cent in the 2017/18 fiscal year, generating enough tax to keep the fiscal deficit at 3.2 per cent of GDP after meeting spending targets. But before the GDP figures announced, Finance Ministry officials said slower economic growth was likely to hit revenue collections this year, forcing them to resort to borrow from the market to meet spending targets. Unfazed by the official GDP figures showing that the Indian economy will grow at a slower pace compared to the last fiscal, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said the GDP growth will become more robust in 2018-19. Kumar’s remarks came after the Chief Statistician announced the CSO data on Friday. Reacting on the growth estimates, Kumar said the GDP growth in the second half of 2017-18 had risen to 7 per cent bringing the annual growth rate to 6.5 per cent. The CSO has primarily used seven-month data to extrapolate for the full fiscal. As per the data, the Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic constant prices (2011-12) is anticipated to increase from Rs 111.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs 118.71 lakh crore in 2017-18. “Anticipated growth of real GVA at basic prices in 2017-18 is 6.1 per cent as against 6.6 per cent in 2016-17,” it said. The data disclosed that sectors like public administration, defence and other services, trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services and financial, real estate and professional services registered a growth rate of over 7 per cent. On the other hand, growth in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction sectors is estimated to be 2.1 per cent (from 4.9 per cent), 2.9 per cent (from 1.8 per cent), 4.6 per cent (from 7.9 per cent) and 3.6 per cent (from 1.7 per cent), respectively.

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