GDP decline not just because of demonetisation, clarifies Jaitley

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi : Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley along with both the Ministers of state for finance at a press conference on three years achievements of NDA-led government at the Centre, in New Delhi on June 1, 2017. PTI Photo.

New Delhi : Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley along with both the Ministers of state for finance at a press conference on three years achievements of NDA-led government at the Centre, in New Delhi on June 1, 2017. PTI Photo.

Several factors including the global situation were responsible for decline in GDP growth to 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, dismissing suggestions that it was on account of demonetisation.

The minister further said some slowdown was visible even prior to demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 currency notes announced by the government on November 8 last year.

According to GDP data released on Tuesday, growth rate slipped to 6.1 per cent in the January-March quarter and 7.1 per cent, the lowest in the three years, during 2016-17.

“Seven-eight per cent growth is fairly reasonable level of growth and very good by global standard and reasonable by Indian standard,” Jaitley said while addressing the media on completion of three years of the Modi government.

Referring to the challenges, he said the major ones include resolving the issue of bad loans in the banking sector and encouraging private sector investment.

On privatisation of ailing national carrier Air India, Jaitley said Niti Aayog has already given its recommendations to the Civil Aviation Ministry to explore various options.

“It is for the Civil Aviation Ministry to explore various options,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)