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