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Arun Jaitley to hold brainstorming meet on economy

The meeting comes days after government data showed GDP growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal slumping to a three-year low.

business Updated: Sep 19, 2017 15:13 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi
PM Modi,Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Arun Jaitley
Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in New Delhi in 2014.(HT File Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will undertake a high-level review of the economy to discuss measures, including a possible stimulus package, to be taken amidst an economic slowdown.

Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, NITI Ayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar and secretaries in the finance ministry -- Ashok Lavasa, Subhash Chandra Garg, Hasmukh Adhia, Rajiv Kumar and Neeraj Kumar Gupta -- are expected to attend the brainstorming session on Tuesday evening.

Originally, the review was to take place with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation.

Only last week, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian met Modi and discussed the state of economy.

The government is said to be considering to provide some financial stimulus to the economy in the wake of slowing growth post demonetisation, troubled transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and tepid private investment.

Pulled down by sluggish manufacturing, growth in the Indian economy in the first quarter of this fiscal fell to 5.7%, clocking the lowest GDP growth rate since Modi took power in May 2014.

Chief statistician TCA Anant had said the slowdown in the first quarter to 5.7% was due to de-stocking by firms as caution ahead of the GST rollout on July 1.

Read more: Meet the economist who predicted India GDP growth at 5.7% in Q1

Reports have said the government was considering measures, both in the short and medium term which are likely to be presented in the Union Budget 2018-19, to boost exports, create jobs and narrow the trade deficit. However, there has been no official confirmation on the same.

The government may also look at resolving some of the top non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loan cases to improve the twin balance sheet scenario of banks and corporates.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter at Rs 31.10 lakh crore grew 5.7% over the same quarter last year. During January to March 2017, the GDP grew by 6.1% .

.(This copy has been updated with latest developments)

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 08:53 IST