Econ­omy set to grow at 7% to 7.75% in 2016-17, says govt Sm­riti Irani’s at­tempts to em­bar­rass Oppn back­fire

In­fla­tion to stay in a 4.5%- 5% range; Union bud­get on Mon­day

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The In­dian econ­omy is poised to grow at 7 to 7.75% in 2016-17, the govern­ment said in a guarded fore­cast on Fri­day in signs that it was look­ing to tem­per ex­pec­ta­tions hemmed in by un­cer­tain global con­di­tions.

In­fla­tion is ex­pected to stay in a 4.5-5% range, ac­cord­ing to the an­nual Eco­nomic Sur­vey 2015-16 tabled in Par­lia­ment.

“For­ti­fy­ing the In­dian econ­omy against pos­si­ble spillovers is one ob­vi­ous ne­ces­sity. An­other ne­ces­sity is a re­cal­i­bra­tion of ex­pec­ta­tions,” said the sur­vey an­chored by chief eco­nomic ad­viser Arvind Subra­ma­nian.

The pro­jec­tions come two days be­fore fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley presents the Union bud­get for 2016- 17 on Mon­day amid height­ened ex­pec­ta­tions that he will un­veil mea­sures to boost in­vest­ment, spin jobs and mul­ti­ply in­come.

Par­lia­men­tary log­jam over crit­i­cal re­forms such as GST was com­ing in the way of In­dia’s growth am­bi­tions, the sur­vey said putting the onus on law­mak­ers to get key leg­is­la­tions mov­ing.

De­spite the global mod­er­a­tion, In­dia will re­main the world’s fastest grow­ing ma­jor econ­omy, a “haven of sta­bil­ity” and an “out­post of op­por­tu­nity”, the sur­vey said. Ac­cord­ing to ad­vance es­ti­mates re­leased this month, In­dia’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) — the to­tal value of goods and ser­vices pro­duced in the coun­try — will grow at 7.6% in 2015-16, out­pac­ing China’s 6.9% ex­pan­sion in 2015.

The sur­vey spoke of a “chakravyuha chal­lenge” of mak­ing in­vest­ment rules eas­ier and dis­man­tling exit bar­ri­ers and made a strong pitch for im­me­di­ate re­form mea­sures, such as goods and ser­vices tax ( GST), labour re­forms, bring­ing more peo­ple un­der the tax net and rais­ing prop­erty tax rates to check spec­u­la­tion in In­dia’s realty mar­ket marred by opaque deals.

Job cre­ation for mil­lions of In­di­ans who are likely to join the work­force ev­ery year over the next decade re­mains a key con­cern, the sur­vey warned.

NEW DELHI: Union min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani’s at­tempts to em­bar­rass the Op­po­si­tion over JNU stu­dents al­legedly dis­play­ing ob­jec­tion­able posters of God­dess Durga and the sui­cide of Dalit scholar Ro­hith Vem­ula boomeranged on the rul­ing BJP on Fri­day.

While party MP Udit Raj, who at­tended the “Mahisha­sur Mar­tyr­dom Day” at the Del­hibased univer­sity, dis­tanced him­self from her re­marks about the event, Vem­ula’s fam­ily and friends called her speech in Par­lia­ment on his death a set of “ab­so­lute lies”.

“So far as it con­cerns the min­is­ter’s state­ment that the act [the event] was blas­phe­mous, that’s wrong. Each one is free to pro­fess his own faith. I par­tici- pated in it. It was a de­bate on Ambed­kar. What we spoke about was Ambed­karism,” Raj told HT. Asked if he saw any poster with blas­phe­mous con­tent about the de­ity, he said, “It wasn’t there.”

While mount­ing a spir­ited de­fence this week of her gov­ern- ment’s ac­tions at JNU, the hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter started read­ing in Par­lia­ment from a pam­phlet al­legedly cir­cu­lated on cam­pus, which had deroga­tory ref­er­ences to God­dess Durga.

MOHD ZAKIR/ HT

HRD min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani out­side Par­lia­ment House in New Delhi on Fri­day.

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