Finance Ministry expects GDP growth to improve to 8% in 2016-17

Pinning hopes on better monsoon, the Finance Ministry Tuesday said it expects GDP growth rate to notch up to 8 percent in the current financial year.

Finance Ministry expects GDP growth to improve to 8% in 2016-17

New Delhi: Pinning hopes on better monsoon, the Finance Ministry Tuesday said it expects GDP growth rate to notch up to 8 percent in the current financial year.

Economy grew at 7.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 taking the growth rate for the entire fiscal to a five-year high of 7.6 percent, mainly on account of good performance of manufacturing sector although farm sector grew at a much slower pace.

"We should work towards seeing this (GDP growth) number grow. We are focusing on capital spending in infra and social spending," Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.

Monsoon will help agriculture production boost rural spending and productivity, he said. "We should hope for things to be better. Parameters are looking good," he added.

Commenting on GDP number, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said India can move towards 8 percent growth with better agriculture production.

"The various measures that the government has been taking in the last couple of years is beginning to show results and overall there are greenshoots... This year hopefully with good monsoon we should look at a growth closer to 8 percent," he said.

According to the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the manufacturing sector during the fourth quarter recorded a growth rate of 9.3 percent while the farm sector grew at a much slower pace of 2.3 percent.

The CSO has also revised the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for previous quarters of 2015-16 -- 7.5 percent for April-June, 7.6 percent for July-September and 7.2 percent for October-December.

The 7.6 percent growth rate for 2015-16 is the same as projected by the CSO in its advance estimates of national income earlier in February this year. 

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