Note ban shaved 0.25-0.5% off GDP growth

Maxine SotoFeb 02, 2017

The Economic Survey while pegging the economic growth for India at 6.5% to 7.5% for the coming fiscal, highlighted the fact that the non performing assets (NPAs) for the PSU banks may keep increasing.

The survey quotes Pricewaterhouse Coopers which reported India's high dependence on cash in 2015.

Last October, led by New Development Bank president K.V. Kamath, BRICS nations expressed concerns over methodologies of the three global agencies (S&P, Fitch, Moody's) saying that these constrain growth in emerging nations. "We can not move towards 8-10 per cent (growth) if that's the way the world markets (behave)...then we have to revise down realistically our growth target and potential", Subramanian said.

When asked why has the government not been able to tackle this festering problem, he said, world over this is a very hard problem. Most stressed debt is with large companies. In India, it's doubly hard because you have what you call the 4C problem - Court, CVC, CBI and CAG.

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The Economic Survey 2017, while calling for quick remonetisation to ameliorate the short-term negative effect of demonetisation, has adopted a tone that strongly defends the move by stressing its long term positive impact. Judging how quickly the economy will recover has been a tough call for economists.

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He also argues it would be easier to implement than India's current anti-poverty programmes, which are riddled with corruption.

On challenges the country may face due to demonetisation, he said that "oil prices may go up" and there may be a job crisis that "we need to address". The Economic Survey also said the implementation of wage hikes and muted tax receipts would put pressure on the fiscal deficit in 2017/18. Briefly, the costs include a contraction in cash money supply and subsequent, albeit temporary, slowdown in GDP growth; and benefits include increased digitalisation, greater tax compliance and a reduction in real estate prices, which could increase long-run tax revenue collections and GDP growth.

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Outlook for Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for the whole of 2016-17 is likely to be below the RBI's target of 5%, stated the Economic Survey.

"With some immodesty, we claim that this Survey produces the first estimate of the flow of goods across states within India, based on analyzing transactions level data provided by the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)", he added. On many occasions, policy changes recommended in the Economic Survey have not been reflected in budget proposals.

· Remonetisation: Survey suggests fast remonetisation, cut in taxes and stamp duties, an improved tax administration system, bringing land and real estate under GST ambit along with a push for digitisation to make India the world's fastest growing major economy again.

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