Economic Survey 2018: The big takeaways

RSTV Bureau

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey in Parliament on Monday. The Survey has estimated that the Indian economy will grow by 7-7.5 per cent in 2018-19. It pointed out that there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of indirect taxpayers and that demonetisation has helped the share of financial savings rise.

Sounding bullish on growth, the Survey emphasised India’s strong economic fundamentals to state that it is poised to regain the tag of world’s fastest growing economy.

Elaborating on the points that are working for the Indian economy, the Survey said that a series of major reforms undertaken over the past year will allow GDP growth to reach 6.75 percent this fiscal and will rise to 7 to 7.5 percent in 2018-19.

It also underlined the role of the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax, the new Indian Bankruptcy Code, the implementation of the recapitalisation package to strengthen public sector banks, liberalization of FDI and the export uplift from the global recovery, as contributing to the economic growth.

The Goods and Services Tax implementation has increased indirect taxpayer base by more than 50 per cent with 34 lakh businesses coming into the tax net.

As on December 2017, there were 9.8 million unique GST registrants, more than the total indirect tax registrants under the old system where many taxpayers were registered under several taxes. The new regime of indirect taxes has fetched Rs 9.7 lakh crore to the exchequer in 2016-17, the survey mentioned.

Economic Survey 2017-18 also says demonetisation to curb black money has given a boost to financial savings in aggregate household savings with a tilt towards market instruments. It led to Rs 2.8 lakh crores less cash and Rs 3.8 lakh crore less high denomination notes in the Indian economy.

The Economic Survey 2017-18 highlighted that while services sector is expected to grow for at 8.3 per cent in FY18, industrial growth will be at 4.4 per cent, and agriculture sector will grow at 2.1 per cent.

With strong macroeconomic indicators, the economic survey has set the tone for a bold and reform oriented Budget 2018-19 to be presented on February 1.