PM Modi counters economic slowdown critics, says growth rate hasn’t fallen to 5.7% for first time

Reiterating his praise for demonetisation, the Prime Minister said the cash to GDP ration has come down to 9 per cent after demonetisation and that it was 12 per cent before November 9, 2016. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 4, 2017 8:02:07 pm
Narendra Modi, Modi on economy, indian economy, modi at ICSI, modi at company secretaries, congress, demonetisation, GDP growth,  india news, indian express New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday acknowledged that the country’s growth rate had come down in April-June quarter but insisted that his government is committed to reverse the slide. “After achieving average growth of 7.5 per cent over 3 years, we accept that growth rates came down April-June but government is committed to reverse it,” PM Modi said while addressing company secretaries at inauguration of Golden Jubilee Year of the Institute of Company Secretaries (ICSI) in Delhi.

His comments came hours after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sharply revised its growth projection to 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal, from 7.3 per cent earlier, due to lower kharif foodgrain production and disruptions arising from the implementations of GST.

Hitting out at previous dispensation and economic slowdown critics, Prime Minister Modi said the country’s economy had witnessed a growth for three continuous years after the BJP formed the government at the Centre. “Dip in economic growth in one quarter has boosted pessimists; not first time growth has dipped to 5.7 per cent in any quarter,” he said.

Last month, data released by the Central Statistics Office showed that the economic growth slowed to 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2017-18 against 6.1 in the preceding quarter. This figures were sharply below market expectations and came on the back of large-scale destocking undertaken by manufacturers ahead of the GST rollout and the lingering impact of demonetisation.

Reiterating his praise for demonetisation, the Prime Minister said the cash to GDP ratio has come down to 9 per cent after demonetisation and that it was 12 per cent before November 9, 2016.

“GDP growth dipped to 5.7 per cent or below eight times during UPA regime when nation was faced with high inflation, CAD and fiscal deficit,” PM Modi said, adding that double digit inflation has come down to less than three per cent with current account deficit and fiscal deficit being brought down to 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively

Allaying fears of dwindling economic growth, PM Modi asserted that fundamentals of Indian economy remain strong and that the reform process will continue keeping financial stability in mind. “Decisions of the govt will take the country to the next league,” Modi said, referring to his government’s decisions of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

With critics mounting pressure on the present dispensation over the ‘hasty’ implementation of the indirect tax reform, Modi assured that he has directed GST Council to review bottlenecks, technological hindrances. “Government ready for changes to ease any bottlenecks in GST,” he said.

Defending his government’s decision to demonetise higher currency notes, Modi said, “The government very well understands the value of your hard earned money and our policies and schemes are focused at bettering life of poor and middle class.” The Prime Minister also vowed to not let the present difficulties jeopardize the future of the country.

With inputs from Agencies

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