Ahead of the Union budget, the Economic Survey report for the fiscal year 2017-18 tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley projected a robustly optimistic picture by projecting India’s growth rate to touch 7-7.5% in the next fiscal year along with a rebound in private investment. While employment, education and agriculture will remain the focus in the medium term, the government will be engaged in stabilizing GST.
Here are some of the key highlights:
- The GDP growth rate for the fiscal year 2017-2018 is pegged at 6.75%
- As of November 2017 there were 1.8 million additional taxpayers, 31% greater than the existing taxpayers. This has resulted in a 50% increase in the number of indirect taxpayers after the implementation of GST.
- Agriculture growth is expected to be at 2.1% in FY18, while industry growth for FY18 likely to be 4.4%.
- Manufacturing growth is estimated to rise 8 per cent this year.
- Services growth is estimated to reach 8.3% with significant improvement in the next fiscal year.
- Current account deficit is expected to average 1.5-2% of the GDP this fiscal, while export growth is pegged at 12.1%.
- The survey points out that India will need $4.5 trillion investment in infrastructure by 2040.
- The survey calls for “policy vigilance” in coming year if oil prices continue to rise. In the last three fiscal years, India experienced a positive term of trade shock. However, oil prices have increased about 16 per cent in dollar terms in the first three quarters of 2017-18.
- The survey outlines a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to more stable prices in the last four years.