5.4 lakh taxpayers added since demonetisation: Arvind Subramanian

Representative Image

"The likely growth this fiscal will be towards the lower end of the 6.75-7.5 per cent band suggested in January-end, mainly because of downside effects of factors like the appreciation of the rupee, farm loan waivers and transitory challenges from implementing the GST and the only upside possibility is exports growth", Subramanian said after the Economic Survey Volume-II was tabled in Parliament. "Various factors such as launch of the goods and services tax (GST); positive impacts of demonetisation; decision in principle to privatise Air India; further rationalisation of energy subsidies and actions to address the Twin Balance-Sheet (TBS) challenge contribute to this optimism", it said.

Post-demonetisation, a new enforcement and compliance regime and increased digitalisation have reduced the use of cash for transactions, the survey said.

India's economy is at risk of slowing down in the current fiscal year, the government said in a mid-year economic survey Friday.

One of his favourite pinch-inflation easing out so should the monetary policy be has found its way into the Survey.

Besides, it warned of fiscal slippages as a series of deflationary impulses are weighing on an economy yet to gather its full momentum.

"Also farm loan waivers could reduce aggregate demand by as much as 0.7 percent of GDP, imparting a significant deflationary shock to an economy", the government's press release on the survey stated.

Across-the-board deceleration in economic activity has made it hard to get to the 7.5 per cent GDP growth as projected earlier for the current fiscal, Economic Survey said today as it called for more interest rate cuts and use of all policy tools to revive momentum.

Subramanian said India is undergoing a structural shift in the inflationary process toward low inflation.

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The second volume of Economic Survey 2016-17 which was tabled in the parliament on Friday said that it noticed a "rekindled" optimism on structural reforms in Indian economy.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian (right) with National Affairs Editor P Vaidyanathan Iyer at the The Indian Express office.

"The cash-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio has come down to 1.6 percentage points", he added.

# CPI inflation to be below 4 per cent by March this fiscal. "Sluggish growth and increasing indebtedness in some sectors of the economy have impacted the asset quality of banks and this is a cause for concern", the Survey said.

The Survey was critical of the state farm loan waivers warning that could touch Rs 2.7 lakh crore. The conclusion is inescapable that the scope for monetary easing is considerable, more than that suggested by comparison with neutral interest rates.

Less developed states such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha witnessed around 30 per cent rise in mandays worked between November 2016 and March 2017.

Industry bodies CII, FICCI and Assocham also hailed steps taken by the government to resolve the "twin balance sheet" problem.

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