Central government’s economic survey pegs growth at 7%

New Delhi: The government today pegged the growth rate for the current fiscal at 7 per cent, marginally up from the five-year low of 6.8 per cent recorded in the previous fiscal.

According to the Economic Survey for 2018-19, tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha, “real GDP growth for the year 2019-20 is projected at 7 per cent reflecting a recovery in the economy after a deceleration in the growth momentum throughout 2018-19.”

The fiscal deficit estimate for 2018-19 has been retained at 3.4 per cent of the GDP, same as projected in the interim Budget.

The survey includes the policy initiatives that the government will be taking and give a roadmap which it plans to follow to boost the economy. The Budget that will be presented tomorrow is the first budget of the Narendra Modi government after assuming office for the second time.

The survey calls for a need to reorient policies to promote young firms which have the potential to become big, rather than small MSME firms which remain small.

Key ingredients include a focus on policies that nourish MSMEs to create more jobs and become more productive, reduce the cost of capital, and rationalise the risk-return trade-off for investments.By presenting data as a public good, emphasizing legal reform, ensuring policy consistency, and encouraging behaviour change using principles of behavioural economics, the Survey aims to enable a self-sustaining virtuous cycle.

According to the survey, “India aims to grow into a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25, which will make India the third-largest economy in the world. Given 4 percent inflation, as the Monetary Policy Framework specified by the Government for the Reserve Bank of India, this requires real annual growth rate in GDP of 8 percent.”

The survey highlights the immense potential of data of societal interest, says data should be of the people, by the people, for the people.

Demographic trends suggest need to prepare for ageing of the population; this necessitates more healthcare investment, increasing retirement age in a phased manner, it added.