Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Tackling child and maternal malnutrition still a massive challenge — Economic Survey

Tackling child and maternal malnutrition still a massive challenge — Economic Survey

On the opening day of the Budget Session in the Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2018. It says that five states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana account for 70% of the country exports.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation has increased indirect taxpayer base by more than 50 per cent with 34 lakh businesses coming into the tax net, the Economic Survey said today. And it had called that the prevailing high oil prices are the matter of concern.

This will help India regain its position as the world's fastest growing major economy, the government said.

For 2019, the Survey prescribes that the government's focus should be on supporting agriculture, stabilising the GST regime, action by the Indian Bank Council on resolution of bad assets, privatise Air India and to come out quickly from macro-economic pressures of high oil prices, which could stall investments.

Economic Survey expects India's GDP to be 7-7.5 percent for the financial year 2018-19. The bulk of transactions are business-to-business (B2B) and exports, which account for 30% and 34% respectively. "Top one percent of Indian firms account only for 38% of exports unlike in other countries where they account for substantially greater share - (72, 68, 67 and 55 percent in Brazil, Germany, Mexico and U.S. respectively)", the Survey stated.

"However, this could also lead to higher inflow of remittances which have started picking up", the survey said.

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However, the report said, the enactment of Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act would bring accountability, leading to higher growth in the real estate value chain.

"The Survey has rightfully pointed out that the Rs.6000 crore package announced in June 2016 has addressed the constraints faced by apparel firms to a large extent and the Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) has increased exports of ready-made garments (man-made fibers) by about 16%", Magu said. The compound annual growth rate of expenditure has been 4.2% over the years and in recent years expenditure has been on higher side.

There is a wide difference in average prices of diagnostic tests across various cities in India, and the range in the prices is substantial, it noted.

Against this (backdrop), the figure excludes many formal workers in sectors outside the GST such as health and education, it said.

Budget proposals are a closely guarded secret, but a finance ministry official with direct knowledge of the discussions said: "The government's top priority is to create jobs and boost growth". Global economy is showing an improvement and to fully capitalise on same, Indian exports need to be made more competitive.

India's internal trade in goods and services (excluding non-GST goods and services) has shown an increase and constitutes about 60 per cent of GDP.

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