Economic survey pegs growth at 8 per cent

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled Economic Survey 2014-15 in Lok Sabha on Friday. The pre-budget Economic Survey called for improving business environment by making regulation and taxes less onerous to help push growth to 8.1-8.5 per cent next fiscal, and to double digits in the coming years.

On the eve of the new presented first full year government budget Finance Minister Arun Jately said that, “India has reached a sweet spot and there is scope for Big Bang reforms now.”

Economic survey pegged growth at more than 8 per cent for the next fiscal and said inflation was now declining. Other areas highlighted by the survey include reforming labour laws, building infrastructure and enabling connectivity to reduce cost of doing business in the country.

The major reforms undertaken by the government include deregulation of diesel prices, direct transfer of cooking gas subsidy, hiking FDI cap in defence and insurance, ordinance on coal.

The annual report card on the state of the economy said the growth should rise further and double digit expansion was a possibility.

According to the survey, 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.  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.

On the fiscal side, it said the government was committed to consolidation with revenue generation a priority. India must adhere to the medium term fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent of the GDP, it said, adding “this will provide fiscal space to insure against future shocks and also to move closer to the fiscal performance of its emerging peers.

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