The government of India today issued the draft of its Economic Survey 2020-2023 which estimates that the GDP growth rate at 6.9% for FY2020, down from 8.1% last year but higher than the earlier estimate of 6.8%.
This comes after PM Modi announced his government’s decision to withdraw 86% shareholding of state-owned banks in public sector undertakings (PSUs) last month. In addition, the survey notes that “the current account deficit has been reduced to 1.3% of GDP, compared to 2.6% of GDP in 2017″.
The report says that while agriculture accounts for 17.4% of employment, its contribution to GDP is “only 5.5%”, adding that “agricultural output per worker rose only 0.2% between 2014-15 and 2017-18.”
In contrast, manufacturing contributes 10.4% of GDP, accounting for 14.3% of employment. But despite efforts to revitalise MSMEs, the contribution of these businesses to GDP declined to 11.7% over the five years ended 2018-19, according to the central bank.
While the economy is expected to improve further thanks to various measures taken such as recapitalisation of PSBs and tax reforms, the fiscal space is likely to remain tight due to revenue shortfall and rising expenditure.
The government, however, intends to use this fiscal space to boost infrastructure spending and increase social security payments. According to the survey, “the government plans to spend Rs 6.75 trillion (US$103 billion) in FY2021-22 on roads, ports and airports; rural water supply and sanitation projects under Bharat Nirman; urban housing; rural electrification; irrigation facilities; drinking water treatment, sewerage and solid waste management; affordable housing; education and skill development; health and family welfare; nutrition programmes; disaster mitigation and relief; and food safety initiatives.”
The survey also says that the government plans to raise rural wages by 50%, the minimum wage currently stands at about Rs 27,000. At present, the national average per capita income is just above $2,600, well below global norms.
For investors looking for opportunities in emerging markets, the Economic Survey provides some insight into what lies ahead for the Indian economy.
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Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended to provide useful information and should not be construed as investment advice.
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