New Delhi: India’s growth story has remained intact despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the economy should be back on the rails soon, a top finance ministry official said.
“Our growth story, which we feel is intact, is also accepted by others who are ready to invest into India during these times,” economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Tuesday, citing a 13% jump in foreign direct investment during April-August.
He said the country has been seeing an uptick in economy since the unlock process began, and exuded confidence that there would be further improvement in the months to come. He pointed to pick up in goods and services tax numbers, e-way bills issuances, and manufacturing PMI.
“We are actually seeing an improvement in all parameters generally,” Bajaj said. “We are expecting further improvement in the month of November.”
GST collections crossed Rs 1lakh crore for the first time since February this year as per latest official data. October IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 58.9 from 56.8 in September, the highest reading since May 2010.
Eway bills, a measure of goods movement, logged in at 64.1million in October, the highest since the system was rolled out two years ago. The economy has done better than what had been anticipated by a lot of experts and economists, he said, expressing hope that the economy would be back on track soon.
An International Monetary Fund report had forecast a growth of 8.8% for India next year, which is the highest so far for any major economy, Bajaj said. He said the number of Covid-19 cases was witnessing a downtrend – fatality rate is down, positivity rate is down, and total numbers are down.
“So, if in case we keep taking precautions in the coming winter months, and especially during festival season, I think we should be in better times,” he said.
The finance ministry is looking into suggestions and requests received from various sectors of the economy, Bajaj said. “We are actually discussing that,” he said.
“It is difficult for me to commit a date, but we have received a lot of requests and comments from various sectors and we are looking into it. Very soon it will be unveiled.”