The Finance Ministry expects the country’s growth rate to climb to 8% in the current financial year on the back of above normal monsoon. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das expressed hope that the likely passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in Parliament would further add to the business sentiment, fuelling growth.
“We will certainly exceed 7.6% growth. If the monsoon is good which we expect it will be because of the forecast and once the GST is passed, we can expect our GDP to touch 8% in the current fiscal,” he told PTI in an interview. In 2015-16, the country’s economy grew 7.6% and the Economic Survey in February had projected a growth rate of 7-7.75% for the current fiscal while RBI had forecast 7.6% for the current fiscal.
He further said although the GST is likely to be rolled out from April 2017, its passage would significantly help in boosting sentiment and generating economic activity. “The moment GST is passed, the business environment will improve. This will give a huge boost to business sentiment and economy is all about real factors and sentiments. So, the sentiment will turn strongly positive and then industry and business will also start the process of re- orienting their business for GST purpose. You will suddenly see a lot of spurt in activity,” he added.
Earlier this month, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had stated that there is no possibility of a “deficient” monsoon this year and 96% chances are that the rainfall would be “normal to excess”. But later, the IMD said the slow progress of the south-west monsoon has led to overall deficiency of rains by 22% from June 1-15. The government is hoping to get the Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. It plans to roll-out GST from April 1, that will subsume excise, service tax and all local levies.