India expects to regain pole place as fastest-growing main financial system

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Agricultural Growth is (down).

However, the economy is projected to grow at 7-7.5 per cent in 2018-19, making it the fastest growing economy in the world again. The growth rate is higher than the recent CSO estimate of 6.5 per cent.

The survey, an annual report on the health of the economy, was released ahead of the government's Budget statement, due to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday. It further predicted that the crude oil prices might rise by up to 12 per cent.

Referring to the Rs. 6,000-crore package for the apparel sector announced in June 2016, the Survey observed that the largest component of that package was rebates on state levies to offset indirect taxes levied by the states (the VAT) that were "embedded" in exports.

"The economy will start reaping benefits of these reforms in the next fiscal year and we look forward to continuity in the reforms process displayed by the "government", said Rashesh Shah, president, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce".

Fuelled by stronger private investment and exports, the recovery forecast for India's growth rate comes after the country posted its slowest growth in three years in 2017/18.

The slowdown was partly a outcome of the chaotic rollout of a nationwide goods and service tax (GST) previous year and a shock move to ban high value currency notes in November 2016.

The bulk of transactions are business-to-business (B2B) and exports, which account for 30-34 percent apiece. This is double the share of India's merchandise exports in the world at 1.7%, the Survey pointed out.

CPI-based headline inflation averaged 3.3 per cent during April-December 2017-18, the lowest in the last six financial years.

Large increase in voluntary registrations under GST, especially of small enterprises has led to greater formalization of the economy. A 50 percent increase in unique indirect taxpayers under the GST compared with the pre-GST system.

In Tourism, India's foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) grew 9.7% in 2017 to 8.8 million and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) grew by 8.8%.

"The average oil prices are forecast by the International Monetary Fund to be about 12 percent higher in 2018-19, which will crimp real incomes and spending-assuming the increase is passed on into higher prices, rather than absorbed by the budget through excise tax reductions or by the oil marketing companies", the Economic Survey 2018 said.

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