India’s economic survey pegged growth at more than 8 percent for the next fiscal and said inflation was now declining, while also setting the agenda for reforms needed to further drive the expansion, prune wasteful expenditure and promote productive investment.
Tabled in parliament Friday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and authored by a team led by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, the annual report card on the state of the economy said the growth should now rise further and double digit expansion was a possibility.
On inflation, the survey said, there has been a fall of over 6 percentage points since 2013, even as the external sector, which includes exports and inflow of foreign funds, was returning to a path of strength and resilience. Industrial growth has also picked up now.
It also had some good news to report on the farm sector. “Foodgrain production for year 2014-15 is estimated at 257.07 million tonnes and will exceed that of last years by 8.5 million tonnes.”
It also made a case for rationalisation of subsidies and said such doles did not appear to have had a transformative effect on the living standards of the poor. On the fiscal side, it said the government was committed to consolidation with revenue generation a priority.
Key Highlights of Economic Survey 2015:
* Government remains committed to fiscal consolidation, enhanced revenue generation a priority
* India needs to create additional fiscal space
* Male literacy at 80.9 percent, female literacy at 64.6 percent
* Need for balance between Make in India and Skilling India; skill development and employment are major challenges
* Food subsidy bill at Rs.1,07,823.75 crore during 2014-15 (upto January), an increase of 20 percent over previous year
* Rationalisation of subsidies and better targeting of beneficiaries will release resources for public investment in agriculture
* Create National Common Market for agricultural commodities
* Revive public investment to improve investment climate
* Inflation showed declining trend during April-December 2014-15, average WPI inflation declined to 3.4 percent against average of six percent during the previous year, WPI food inflation fell to 4.8 percent after high of 9.4 percent in 2013-14, CPI inflation touched all-time low of 5 percent after remaining high at 9-10 percent for last two years
* Government measures to control food inflation and persistent decline in crude prices resulted in declining trend in inflation
* Foodgrain production in 2014-15 estimated at 257.07 million tonnes; will exceed average foodgrain production of last five years by 8.5 million tonnes
* Agriculture and allied sectors contributed 18 percent to GDP
* Fourteenth Finance Commission will enhance fiscal federalism
* Hyper-growth in tech startups
* Rural penetration of IT services to drive Make in India mission
* Electronic visa gives fillip to tourism sector
* Growth rate of over eight percent expected in 2015-16
* Double-digit economic growth trajectory now a possibility
* Political mandate for reform and benign external environment
* Scope for big bang reforms. (IANS)