Need women centric policy with feminisation of agri-sector: Eco survey

Solely 5 states account for 70% of exports, Financial Survey exhibits

The real estate and construction sector will create over 15 million jobs over the next five years despite signs of stress in the segment in the last few quarters, the Economic Survey said on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) endorsed the pick-up in growth highlighted in the survey, but was of the view that in 2018-19 the real GDP growth rate is likely to be closer to 7.5 per cent rather than 7 per cent.

For the current fiscal, the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has pegged the GDP growth at 6.75 per cent, marginally higher than the estimate of 6.5 per cent made by the Central Statistics Office. Growth in service sector could be 8.3 percent.

National dailies published a day after the release of Economic Survey 2017-18 have painted a rosy picture about the state of the economy. "The Survey articulates how policy reforms are leading to actual progress and notes that the economy is back on an accelerating growth track".

The survey said that the oil price is expected to grow by average 12% in the FY19.

However, it said that due to various measures taken by the government to curb black money generation, there was Rs 65,000 to Rs 90,000 crore increase in income tax collection in the past two years.

The other risk which can emerge is if the booming stock markets (Sensex touched a new lifetime high of 36,283 on Monday) corrected sharply, provoking a "sudden stall" in capital flows.

The Survey has also cautioned that against the emerging macroeconomic concerns, policy vigilance will be necessary in the coming year, especially if high worldwide oil prices persist or elevated stock prices correct sharply, provoking a "sudden stall" in capital flows.

Subramanian warned that oil prices remained a big cause for concern.

"The agenda for the next year consequently remains full: stabilizing the GST, completing the TBS actions, privatizing Air India, and staving off threats to macro-economic stability". Yet over this period the Indian and United States economies have been following different paths. In 2017-18 (April-November) among the major sectors, there was good export growth in engineering goods and petroleum crude and products, moderate growth in chemicals & related products, and textiles & allied products; but negative growth in gems and jewellery.

There has been a large increase in registered indirect and direct taxpayers. This is double the share of India's merchandise exports in the world at 1.7%, the Survey pointed out. Similarly, despite the robust economic growth, the savings and investment as a ratio of GDP generally declined.

If the stock market bubble bursts, there could be a huge dollar outflow as investors pull out of Indian markets, forcing monetary policy authorities to raise interest rates to stem the hot money outflow.

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