oppn parties The Economy is Not Growing Sufficiently

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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The Economy is Not Growing Sufficiently

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Conflicting Data
The latest set of data released by the Central Statistics Office and data from other sources indicates that while inflation is lower and tax collections are robust, industrial output is at its 8-month low and gross fixed capital formation has contracted again. These figures show that the economy is not recovering.

The data shows that:
* Consumer Price Index based inflation is at 5.05 percent, lowest since March.
* Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 2.4 percent year-on-year. Manufacturing was the real culprit, going down by 3.4 percent. The alarming thing was that this reversed the trend in June when the IIP achieved an eight month high of 1.9 percent (revised).
* Tax collection at Rs 5.25 lakh crore, in first five months of this fiscal, was 23 percent higher than in the same period last year. The red flag was lower corporation tax collection, which fell by 1.9 percent.
* Gross fixed capital formation contracted again, the second time in two consecutive quarters, which is an alarming signal that shows no fresh investments.

Where is the expected growth?
The economy is not growing. There will be a chorus of demand for rate cuts by the RBI to generate investment. But the RBI may prefer to wait till December. This is due to several factors. The first is the good to very good monsoon that is expected to ease farm prices leading to still lower inflation. Anything below 4.5 percent will be a huge cushion. The second is the expected upsurge in demand for goods in the ensuing festival season, backed by the rise in salaries (as a result of 7th Pay Commission award) and payment of bonus in both government and private sectors. Pumping in more money in the economy at this juncture could be counter-productive and may lead to inflationary pressures.

Rate cut might not happen before December
The RBI might prefer to wait till December to see what surging demand and lower farm prices does to inflation and the IIP before taking a call on lowering interest rates. To many, that would be too late if India is to achieve an 8 percent growth this fiscal, but given the hawkish stance adopted by the RBI in recent times, that is the most likely scenario.