oppn parties The Economy is Not Growing Sufficiently

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  • Kapil Sibal leaves Congress, fills nomination for Rajya Sabha with SPs backing
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  • Hindustan Motors to tie-up with Peugeot to bring out a redesigned version of the iconic Ambassador
  • GST Council to defer rate rejig due to inflation
  • Centre to sell 29.5% in Hindustan Zinc at an expected price of Rs 38000cr
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  • Delhi Additional district judge Nikhil Chopra says there is no legal right for people seeking to worship deity inside Qutab Minar, says it survived 800 years without worship so "let it survive like that"
  • Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann sacks state health minister Vijay Singla over corruption charges. Singla was later arrested by the ACB
  • Protestors burn the house of Andhra minister P Viswaroop and MLA Satish Kumar over renaming of Konaseema district as B R Amberdkar Konaseema
  • Gyanvapi: Varanasi district judge decides to first hear the 'maintainability' plea filed by mosque management
  • Delhivery and Venus Pipes shares list at premium of 10% and 8.7% respectively even when market sentiment was down
  • In a bid to cool edible oil prices, Centre allows duty-free imports of 20 lakh tonnes each of crude sunflower oil and crude palm oil per annum this year and next
  • Centre caps sugar exports to ensure availability of stocks in the domestic markets to cool prices
  • Stock markets get the jitters as RBI signals rate hike and government moves in to control inflation: Sensex tumbles by 236 points to 54052 and Nifty goes down by 89 points to 16125
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The Economy is Not Growing Sufficiently

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-09-13 08:33:07

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.
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.