Shaktikanta Das, Secretary Economic Affairs, Government of India (Source: Das’ Twitter Handle)

India to Grow Closer to 8% This Year: Shaktikanta Das

India is likely to grow at close to 8 percent this year. That’s the word coming in from Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Das said the country clocked a growth rate of 7.6 percent last year despite facing back-to-back droughts. With this year’s above average monsoon, he expects agricultural production to be better than previous two-years’, which in turn should provide a boost to India’s GDP.

The budget has been well-received by all sections of the economy. Large number of structural reforms have been undertaken by the government in the last two years. All these things put together, we are hoping to better our growth of last year, and perhaps get closer to 8 percent.”
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters.

Das, who recently returned from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) finance ministers’ two-day meeting, said that the focus of the summit was on economic issues, fostering a customs union and promoting double taxation avoidance between the member nations.

He said discussions were also held on improving connectivity between the SAARC countries, increasing volume of trade, and developing supply chain linkages between these nations.

He also talked about the SAARC Development Fund. “India has given $100 million [to the SAARC Development Fund], and so far the emphasis has been social sector projects,” he said.

He said about 11 projects are being implemented with infrastructure and economic projects next in line to be financed via the fund.