Reforms are yielding results, says Debroy on GDP estimate

The minimum issuance amount for these bonds is Rs1,000. Accordingly the cumulative value of the Rs1,000 investment will be Rs1,703 at the end of seven years

The growth data stood at 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 session.

Gross Value Added (GVA) was also projected to expand by 6.1% in 2017-18, slowing from 6.6% in the preceding fiscal year, according to the first advance estimates of national income for 2017-18, released by the CSO.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) has pegged the GDP growth rate during the FY2017-18 at 6.5% in its first advance estimates as compared to GDP growth rate of 7.1% in FY2016-17 at basic constant prices of 2011-12.

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India's per capita income, a gauge for measuring living standard, is likely to rise to Rs 1.11 lakh in FY18 but the growth would be slower at 8.3% compared with 9.7% growth in 2016-17. Will India close the current year (2017-18) at an annual growth rate at above 7 percent? "GDP growth of 6.5% for 2017-18 implies growth of 7% for the second half". The Gross Value Added (GVA), which includes taxes, at basic constant prices (2011-12) is anticipated to increase from Rs 111.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to Rs 118.71 lakh crore in 2017-18. The GDP in the first and second quarters of this fiscal grew at 5.7% and 6.3% respectively.

The disruption introduced by the implementation of Goods and Services Tax is expected to take a major toll on the sector. The forecast has been released a little over three weeks before finance minister Arun Jaitley presents the last full-fledged Budget of this government before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The slowdown is related to the poor performance in agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors where the growth data hovered between 2.1 percent to 4.6 percent only. Economists feel a lower growth estimate could see the government wandering away from the fiscal consolidation path and not meet their fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of the GDP for the financial year 2017-2018 (FY18). Thus, in the first half of 2017-18, the economy grew at 6%. Economists said the advance estimates may have been conservative in its assessment.

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This may affect the fiscal deficit, which the government had hoped to cap at Rs 5.46 lakh crore this year. The latest estimates for full year suggest there is no change in trend.

"Accordingly, the advance estimates for GDP and GVA growth appear to be understating economic expansion for FY2018, in our view".

"As such, for a broad based recovery the rural economy needs to recover and we can expect the upcoming budget to focus on alleviating some of the stress in the rural economy and concentrating on measures to augment the flow of credit in the economy", said Chakravarty. "And as the estimates are missing the RBI expectations, the central bank is likely to pause in its next policy meeting in February 2018".

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