PM Modi to review economic situation on Tuesday

RSTV Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review countries economic situation on Tuesday with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other top officials. He is expected to take decisions to boost economic growth, creating jobs and reviving private investment may be part of the discussion.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The meeting comes days after government data showed GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal slumping to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent, from 7.9 per cent in April- June of 2016 and 6.1 per cent of January-March.

In the last few days, GDP growth has declined steadily for six straight quarters and the Economic Survey-II predicts that the economy may not be able to achieve the targeted growth rate of 7.5 per cent owing to deflationary pressures.

Exports are facing strong headwinds and the industrial growth is the lowest in five years.

The current account deficit (CAD) in the April-June quarter has risen to 2.4 per cent of GDP, or USD 14.3 billion, mainly on account of the increased trade gap.

CAD, the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, was 0.1 per cent (USD 0.4 billion) in the June quarter of last fiscal. The figure compares with 0.6 per cent (USD 3.4 billion) for January-March 2017.

The teething troubles with the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), after-effects of demonetisation and the fiscal space available is likely to figure during the meeting.

File Photo: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Delhi Economic Conclave

File Photo: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Delhi Economic Conclave

Till date, direct and indirect tax collections, as well as projections for the year, may be presented to the prime minister.

Disinvestment proceeds may also be put before Modi to give a fuller picture of government finances.

Inflationary pressures, along with reasons for the lackluster manufacturing growth of 1.2 per cent in July, may also come up for discussion, they said, adding that the meeting may also take stock of spread of monsoon and its impact on the agricultural economy.  Both wholesale and retail inflation rose in August.

With demonetisation said to have dealt a blow to black money, steps being taken to prevent its generation may also be discussed at the meeting.

The government is concerned at the stuttering growth despite a benign macroeconomic environment with easy money flowing in, global growth reviving, government revenues looking solid, deep foreign exchange reserves, reasonable oil prices and a decent monsoon keeping food prices in check.