In the wake of the fact that the GDP has increased in the second half of the financial year, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the estimated annual growth rate assumes significance. This was highlighted as Centre weaned away public sector expenditure which had peaked in 2016-17 on account of the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission report.
Rajiv Kumar added that India’s economic activity has been picking up for the last three quarters and the country’s GDP growth will become more robust in 2018-19. Kumar was reacting to the growth estimates of 2017-18 released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). ” The second half GDP growth in 2017-18 has risen to 7 per cent, bringing the annual growth rate to 6.5 percent…GDP growth will become more robust in 2018-19,” he said. The Niti Aayog vice chairman pointed out that economic activity has been picking up over the last three quarters and can be expected to strengthen in the coming period with the manufacturing PMI now reading at a five-year high and FMCG demand going up. According to CSO data, economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2017-18, mainly due to poor performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 and 8 per cent in the preceding year. It was 7.5 per cent in 2014-15.
According to a statement issued by the NITI Aayog, Kumar pointed out that economic activity can be expected to strengthen in the coming period “with the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) now reading at a five-year high of 54 per cent, and FMCG demand picking up briskly”. Kumar’s remarks came after Chief Statistician T.C.A. Anant announced that Indian economy was expected to grow at a slower 6.5 per cent in 2017-18 compared to the 7.1 per cent in 2016-17, according to IANS report.
While speaking to the media on Saturday afternoon, Kumar compared the reforms made in 1991, like privatisation, by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh to the reforms made by Modi government like GST and demonetisation. He also compared the GDP of that era and GDP after GST and demonetisation. Kumar called it an achievement by the government that the GDP didn’t fall down to low as it did when Manmohan Singh was the Finance Minister.