New Delhi : Enthused by 8.2 per cent GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018-19, the finance ministry today 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.
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.
Economic fundamentals remain robust: Debroy
NEW DELHI: Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Bibek Debroy said that 8.2 per cent growth validates that the economic fundamentals of the country remain robust. Debroy attributed the rise in economic growth to continued impetus on structural reforms and effective implementation of ongoing policy initiatives. “The focus on boosting capital spend in infrastructure sector and multiple initiatives to provide universal access to basic goods and services has not only contributed to this growth but has improved its quality as well… This also validates that the economic fundamentals remain robust,” Debroy said.