Decline in GDP growth: From Rahul Gandhi, CM Mamata Banerjee to FM Arun Jaitley, here’s what key politicos have to say

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New Delhi | Updated: June 1, 2017 4:04:16 PM

Decline in GDP growth: India's GDP growth has declined to 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17

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Decline in GDP growth: India’s GDP growth has declined to 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, according to multiple reports. The slump is the lowest in three years. The decline has also hit India’s status as the fastest growing major economy in the world, report says. As the reports regarding the gross domestic product data came to the fore, a political slugfest has erupted over the figure. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee have launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government. On the other hand, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has countered the charges levelled against the central government, saying a few factors along with global situation were the reasons behind this decline. Credit rating agency Moody’s has projected India’s growth to touch 7.5 per cent this fiscal.

Here are key takeaways from the statements made regarding decline in GDP growth

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Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee’s attack

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has lashed out at the Centre over the decline in GDP growth. He claimed that the central government was manufacturing other issues to divert people’s attention from its failures. “Falling GDP. Rising unemployment. Every other issue is manufactured to distract us from this fundamental failure,” Gandhi tweeted.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has flayed the Modi government for this decline. She raked up the demonetisation factor saying her apprehensions about currency ban had proven to be correct. There had been rampant job losses and the agriculture and the unorganised sector was in worst shape, the chief minister said. She said that the Q4 GDP figure this fiscal has come down to 6.1 per cent. The corresponding GDP figure in the previous fiscal was 7.9 per cent. So, the decline is nearly 2 per cent.

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Arun Jaitley’s defence

FM Arun Jaitley, however, rejected the suggestions that it was on account of demonetisation. Jaitley said some slowdown was visible even prior to demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 currency notes announced by the government on November 8 last year. “Seven-eight per cent growth is fairly reasonable level of growth and very good by global standard and reasonable by Indian standard,” Jaitley said.

He also said that major challenges lie in resolving the issue of bad loans in the banking sector and encouraging private sector investment.

Moody’s Projection

In its Global Macro Outlook, Moody’s Investors Service projected India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.5 per cent in current fiscal. The central government’s reform push will help achieve 8 per cent GDP growth rate in about four years, it said. “We expect marginally faster growth in India. According to our forecast, the economy will grow 7.5 per cent in fiscal year 2017 (2017-18) and 7.7 per cent in fiscal year 2018 (2018-19),” it said.

The World Bank has earlier this week projected India to clock a 7.2 per cent growth rate in the current fiscal on reform momentum and improved investment scenario, according to reports.

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