Indian economy slowed down in 2016-’17, Arun Jaitley accepts in Parliament

He said poor growth in the industries and services sector contributed to this, but did not mention the impact of demonetisation or the Goods and Services Tax.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament said the Indian economy had slowed down in 2016-’17 as industries and the service sector have recorded poor growth.

Jaitley, responding to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday, attributed the decline in growth – from 8% in 2015-’16 to 7.1% this year – to stressed balance sheets of the corporate sector and lower credit growth in the industry sector.

However, he did not speak of the impact of demonetisation or the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax on the economy, PTI reported.

“Economic growth of a country depends on a number of factors including structural, external, fiscal and monetary factors,” he said.

Jaitley claimed that despite the slowdown, India was the fastest growing major economy in 2016, and the second fastest in 2017, citing International Monetary Fund data. He also said the government was working on ways to boost growth by helping the manufacturing sector and focusing on urban and rural infrastructure.

The Lok Sabha on Friday also passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Hindu reported. The bill bars wilful defaulters from bidding for troubled assets during insolvency processes.

Jaitley said the bill will speed up the insolvency resolution process.

Proceedings were smooth in both Houses of Parliament, after nearly two weeks of protests by Opposition members – first over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments about his predecessor Manmohan Singh, and later over Union minister Ananthkumar Hegde’s remarks about the Indian constitution.

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