Indian economy may contract 25pc in current fiscal

18 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: The Indian economy is not recovering as fast as the government claims and the country’s economy may contract 25 per cent in the current financial year, noted economist Arun Kumar said on Sunday.

Kumar further said that due to a big decline in the GDP during the current financial year, the budget estimates have gone completely out of gear and, therefore, there is a need to correct the Budget, report agencies.

“India’s economic growth is not recovering as fast as the government is showing because the unorganised sector has not started recovering and some major components of the services sector have not recovered.

“My analysisshows that the rate of growth will be (-)25 per centin the current financial year becauseduring lockdown (during April-May), only essential production was taking place and even in agriculture, there was no growth,” he told PTI in an interview.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected the Indian economy to contract 7.5 per cent in the current financial year, while the National Statistical Office (NSO) estimates a contraction of 7.7 per cent.

Also, according to the NSO, the Indian economy contracted by 23.9 per cent during the April-June 2020 quarter and recovered faster than expected in the July-September 2020 quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 per cent.

Kumar, a former professor of economics at JNU, said the government’s own document that provided April-June and July-September quarters GDP (gross domestic product) figures said there will be a revision in the data later on.

He predicted that India’s fiscal deficit will be higher than it was last year and the state’s fiscal deficit will also be much higher.

“Disinvestment revenue will also be short. Tax and non-tax revenues will be short,” Kumar said.

He said India’s economic recovery will depend on several factors including how quickly vaccination can be done, how quickly people can go back to their work.

“We are not going back to the 2019 level of output in 2021. Maybe in 2022, after the vaccination is done, we will recover back to the 2019 level of output in 2022,” Kumar said. He added that the growth rate in the comingyears will be good becauseof low base effect, but the output will be less than 2019.


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