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BW Businessworld

Economic Survey Pegs Growth Rate At 7-7.5% In 2018-19

The survey -- an annual report card of the government – pointed out that focus must be given to agriculture, education and employment generation are likely to be the focus areas in the medium term. The Economic Survey, however, voices concern over the rising oil prices

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The economy is expected to clock a growth rate between 7 and 7.5% in the next financial year, the economic survey tabled by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said. The survey, which comes within seven months of the launch of the goods and services tax (GST), said that the implementation of the recapitalization package to strengthen the public sector banks, measures to further liberalise foreign direct investment (FDI) and export uplift from the global recovery will help the country’s economy in the second half of 2017-18 and growth was likely to touch 6.75% this year.

Earlier, in the month, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) projected a growth rate of 6.5% for the current financial year.

Addressing a press conference, Arvind Subramanian, chief economic adviser, said implementation of the GST was one of the major achievements of the government.

However, the rising oil prices globally is a cause for concern, the survey said. Subramanian also underlined the need to be watchful of the stock markets.

The survey -- an annual report card of the government – pointed out that focus must be given to agriculture, education and employment generation are likely to be the focus areas in the medium term. The Economic Survey, however, voices concern over the rising oil prices.

“Against this overall economic and political background, economic management will be challenging in the coming year. If the obvious pitfalls (such as fiscal expansion) are avoided and the looming risks are averted that would be no mean achievement,” the survey noted.

Jaitley will present his final annual budget on Thursday.

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a growth rate of 7.4% for the next financial year, Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar told BW that growth rate in the next financial year could be higher at 7.5% to 8%.

The survey added that there has been a 50% increase in the number of indirect taxpayers, besides a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises. It also pointed out that an addition of 1.8 million new individual tax payers since November 2016 after the sudden withdrawal of 86% of the high-value currency notes.