India’s Macro-Economic Policy Is Stable, Will Continue On Growth Path, Says Official
A worker welds pieces of metal during the restoration of a truck at the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Naga depot in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India’s Macro-Economic Policy Is Stable, Will Continue On Growth Path, Says Official

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India is following a macro-economic policy that is stable and consistent and the country will continue on a growth path of 8 to 10 percent per annum, a top economic advisor said.

Speaking at the ‘India 101: Internalisation Conference’ in Singapore, Ratan P Watal, Member Secretary, Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister, also referred to the concerns on the state of the economy and said the “minor little things that come up, are little blips” in the macro-economic policy.

“India is following a macro-economic policy which is stable, consistent and it will continue. We are looking at a growth path of 8 to 10 percent, we intent to achieve our target of becoming a $5-trillion economy in which trade and commerce will play a major role,” Watal said.

He said trade and commerce will play a major role in India becoming a $5-trillion economy. Watal said there was a need to see the larger trend for the current economic growth (generally seen at 7 percent by economists and analysts).

“Even if there is a problem, you have to be subtle in your economic policy and that's what exactly the government has done,” he told PTI during the conference organised by the Singapore-Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Wait and see by end of the year,” he said, responding to a question on weaker indications on the current economic growth. “If the perception was the growth was slacking a little bit, you make policy intervention to see the growth rate goes up if it goes up, the fiscal pressure will come down. These are things the government has to do on a day to day basis,” he pointed out.

Also read: `Now We Make Them Here': India Joins China as Smartphone Builder

“Policy corrections are made to see things are alright,” he stressed. According to economists, India's economic growth momentum has been slipping since the last three-four quarters.

Not only did GDP growth fall to a 20-quarter low of 5.8 percent in January-March, leading indicators point towards further weakening of growth momentum to about 5.5 percent in April-June 2019-20.

Some of the worst affected sectors include auto where the sales in the country have been declining for almost a year now with the passenger vehicles segment being the worst hit.

Industry estimates suggest that two lakh jobs have been cut in the last three months as auto companies and component makers grapple with slow demand.

The government on Friday announced a raft of measures, including rollback of enhanced super-rich tax on foreign and domestic equity investors, exemption of startups from 'angel tax' as part of the efforts to boost economic growth.

Watal underlined how the government has handled current account deficit, fiscal space and monetary policy. “These are the pulse, beat and heart rate of an economy. We have a great future ahead,” he said.

The senior economic advisor said the the world is undergoing a lot of economic changes which impacts the country.

Speaking on India’s Act East policy, he said: “Our engagement with the ASEAN and the far east will create opportunities for the people across these regions and in India”.

He also spoke about opportunities for Indian professionals in the Act East Policy and cited a Government-to-Government arrangement whereby skilled Indian nurses are now working in Japan.

“Let's see how the programme works out and it will be expanded to other areas,” said Watal, adding that it would also depend on partner country in such arrangement.

Also read: RBI Annual Report: Cyclical Or Structural? India’s Central Bank Wades Into The Growth Debate

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