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Jaitley smiles over growth, people fume over hikes

Even as people in the country were reeling from the onslaught of the rise in prices of everything from LPG to ATF and the implementation of the Krishi Cess, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the economy is looking up, and that the onset of monsoons and the passage of the GST Bill will push growth.

Jaitley smiles over growth, people fume over hikes
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Arun Jaitley

Tokyo

With India retaining the fastest growing large economy tag post latest GDP numbers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the country is on an “upward curve” and a good monsoon, GST passage and increased infra and rural spending will further accelerate the growth. 

With pro-growth policies helping gross domestic product grow a faster-than-expected 7.9 per cent in January-March quarter and 7.6 per cent in the entire 201516 fiscal, he asserted that these are not “stray figures” and an analysis of the pattern shows inherent strength in the economy. Also aiding was the growth in output of eight core sectors growing 8.5 per cent in April on the back of pick up in output of refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity. 

“Last two years, a number of factors were loaded against us - there was a global slowdown and we had two consecutive below normal monsoon rainfalls,” he said, adding that people are surprised how India has managed to grow at the fastest pace in the world. Going forward, “reform process is going to continue. Hopefully, Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill is passed (in ensuing monsoon session of Parliament), which has the potential to add to GDP growth. Also, our infrastructure and rural spending will add to that,” he said commenting on the latest GDP numbers. 

On the forecast of a good monsoon this year, Jaitley said it “would mean an increase in agriculture production, more purchasing power and rural demand.” 

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