Budget 2018: The IMF today welcomed the fiscal targets set by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the annual budget 2018 proposals and noted that the economic survey released this week strikes a good balance with the realistic forecast. “We really haven’t had a chance to fully assess it. But, that said we welcome the fiscal 2019 budget targets, which has a fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent of GDP which in our view returns budget to a path of gradual fiscal consolidation while keeping in mind the need to provide support to India’s needs and economic recovery,” William Murray, deputy spokesman, International Monetary Fund, told reporters.
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Last week, the IMF in its World Economic Outlook update released in Davos, Switzerland, projected a 7.4 per cent GDP growth in India in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019, Murray said. Responding to a question, he welcomed the economic survey and said it’s interesting informative report that provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of the economy. The IMF, he said, is impressed by a range of important economic issues covered and the depth of the analysis in the survey. “We broadly shared the overall assessment of the state of the economy, in particular, the economic survey’s outlook of 6.7 per cent in fiscal 2017-2018 and 7-7.5 per cent in 2018-19,” he said, noting that this is in line with the IMF’s forecast.
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The Economic Survey report, he said, strikes a good balance with realistic forecast and at the same time remains cognizant of the economic risks that India faces. “We take note of considerable progress made on both the pace and composition of reform being implemented in India in recent years in line with our recommendations,” Murray said. These reforms include, for example, implementation of goods and services tax, implementation of the insolvency and bankruptcy code, the ongoing recapitalisation of public sector banks, and further liberalisation of foreign direct investment in India, the deputy spokesman said.