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NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar

Economic Survey reflects resolve to maintain fiscal stability with focus on growth: NITI Aayog Vice Chairman

ANI | Updated: Jul 04, 2019 16:31 IST

New Delhi [India], July 4 (ANI): The Economic Survey 2018-19 reflects the Central government's resolve to maintain fiscal stability with a focus on growth, said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday.
Kumar in a tweet said: "The measures to accelerate investments, especially from the private sector to give a push to growth rate, are a step in the right direction."
"Economic Survey 2018-19 reflects the government's resolve to maintain fiscal stability while pushing up GDP growth rates by measures to accelerate private investment. It provides a comprehensive and clear picture of economic trends and challenges ahead. Congratulations to CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian and his team in the Ministry of Finance," he said.
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in the Parliament, which says that India is still the fastest growing major economy during the period under the review.
As per the details in the Survey, growth of GDP moderated to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18, while inflation contained at 3.4 per cent in 2018-19. Non-Performing Assets as a percentage of Gross Advances reduced to 10.1 per cent at end December 2018 from 11.5 per cent at end March 2018.
Growth in fixed investment picked up from 8.3 per cent in 2016-17 to 9.3 per cent next year and further to 10.0 per cent in 2018-19. Current account deficit has been pegged at 2.1 per cent of GDP.
Fiscal deficit of the Central Government declined from 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 to 3.4 per cent in 2018-19. FY 2018-19 ended with fiscal deficit at 3.4 per cent of GDP and debt to GDP ratio of 44.5 per cent (provisional).
As per cent of GDP, the total Central government expenditure fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2018-19 PA over 2017-18. States' own tax and non-tax revenue displays robust growth in 2017-18 RE and envisaged to be maintained in 2018-19 BE.
Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian said Economic Survey 2018-19 makes a concerted effort for India to become a five trillion dollar economy by 2025.
With 'Shifting Gears Through a Virtuous Cycle' as a key theme, the Survey will be a key driver of investment cycle to fuel economic growth, he said.
Subramanian said the team has tried to ensure that the document is accessible to the common man, revealing that every chapter includes an abstract and a chapter at a glance section to aid the common man in understanding the Economic Survey.
He listed behavioural economics, legal reforms, data as a public good and unshackling MSMEs to create jobs and productivity in the economy as the tactical tools behind shifting the gears of the economy.
He also talked out the economic achievements of the government in the past five years. "India has been a bright spot in the world economy as it has ensured macroeconomic stability with high growth rates and low inflation. The government has also made key infrastructural investments in the form of village electrification, national highways and UDAAN scheme."
As the economy started going better, China started saving and investing more, said Subramanian, adding that India needs to learn from this and adopt a virtuous cycle.
As a fundamental departure from previous economic surveys, he talked about the role of behavioural economics in this year's survey.
"Classical economics thinks of humans as robots. Economic Survey 2019 argues for an ambitious agenda for social change, treating humans as humans, relying on the lessons offered by behavioural economics."
Citing two big examples, the CEA talked about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as a great example of behavioural change and its contribution to improved health outcomes in a very significant way. "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has led to an improvement in sex ratio at birth."
Subramanian also made the case for the potential of data as a public good for ease of living, saying that the government needs to invest the same way as in building roads for the welfare of people.
"Filling existing judicial vacancies and improving productivity improvements in courts can address key hurdle of delays in contract enforcement and dispute resolution," he said while emphasising the need for clearing the legal logjam in the country on its pursuit towards a five trillion dollar economy. (ANI)