Panagariya hopeful of 8% growth this fiscal

Panagariya hopeful of 8% growth this fiscal

Panagariya hopeful of 8% growth this fiscal

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya on Wednesday said that he was hopeful of an 8% economic growth by March 2017, if monsoon remains good and farm sector growth is robust.

“I am very optimistic, particularly encouraged by the monsoon. The monsoon will deliver this time. We can expect some pretty robust agriculture growth,” Panagariya said.

“If the agriculture growth does pan out on those lines... that adds up a percentage point to the growth. That really makes crossing 8% quite probable. We should cross 8%  in 2016-17,” he said.

Pangariya was speaking on the sidelines of a conference of state chief secretaries.India’s economy grew 7.6% in 2015-16 to become the fastest growing large economy.

Panagariya’s growth prediction matches that of the government which also said recently that the country’s economy would grow close to 8%, if the monsoon keeps pace and farm production is good.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to NITI Aayog on Thursday, he said: “We will be discussing with the Prime Minister precisely the Vision (15 years till 2030), Strategy (7 Years) and Action Plan (3 years) documents. We will seek his guidance on these documents, and share our views.”

On states continuing with the Five-Year Plan system which was abolished by the Centre, he said the government is not imposing anything on states. Some states will continue with their plans.

On abolition of the Railway Budget, and changing financial year to calendar year, he said that no decision has been taken in this regard as yet. Earlier, NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy had said that abolition of the Railway Budget and change of financial year to calendar year will be a reality by 2018.