New Delhi– The real GDP growth in 2018-19 is likely to be closer to 7.5 per cent rather than 7 per cent, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman (EAC-PM) Bibek Debroy said on Monday.

Endorsing the pick-up in growth highlighted in the Economic Survey 2017-18, he said the Survey was a reflection of government’s commitment to growth and development.

The Economic Survey for 2018-19 estimated a real GDP growth rate of 6.75 per cent for the full year in the current fiscal. For 2018-19 it projected a real GDP growth between 7 to 7.5 per cent.

“…The real GDP growth rate is likely to be closer to 7.5 per cent rather than 7 per cent,” a statement quoting Debroy said.

The EAC-PM said the Survey was optimistic in its tone because of government’s commitment to carry forward structural reforms like Goods and Services Tax, deregulation measures, bank re-capitalization and resolution through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code process.

“The government is committed to fiscal consolidation and prudent public expenditure. It would be in order if public expenditure is also financed through off-Budget instruments.

“It is rightly mentioned that growth drivers will have to fundamentally emerge through exports, private investments and consumption. The Survey has already noted the likely pick-up in both exports and private investments,” Debroy said.

He said while a lot of general statements were made about the impact of demonetisation on GDP growth, the Survey stressed that demonetisation was only a blip that did not last beyond mid-2017.

“One of the objectives of demonetisation and GST was an increase in the tax payer base. Correcting for trends, the Survey has figures to show that the number of tax payers has actually increased because of these policy measures, though many of these tax payers declared incomes that are close to the minimum threshold levels,” he said.

“There has also been lot of debate about job growth, despite the lack of credible data. The Survey has specific numbers to show that formal sector employment is much higher than what is commonly suggested.” (IANS)

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