Strong fundamentals defined 2017: FinMin


Agencies, New Delhi Strong macro-economic fundamentals and reforms for sustained growth defined 2017 for Ministry of Finance, according to ‘Year End Review – 2017’ released by Ministry of Finance. According to it, 2017 was a historic year for the Ministry with significant recognition by Moody’s Investors Service upgrading India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings after 13 years. India moving up 30 ranks in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report and visible signs of financial system cleansing by the Demonetisation exercise. It said that transformational reforms, overhauling of indirect tax system by the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to replace multiple Central and State taxes and a new direct tax code also initiated to re-write the Income Tax Act. It said that recapitalisation of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and an Alternative Mechanism for their consolidation, the Financial Inclusion and Social Security Schemes – PMJDY and APY achieved significant milestones. It said that enhancing the quality of life remained primary goal for Government when it put into implementation the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission to benefit more than 48-lakh Central Government Employees. On the achievements of Department of Economic Affairs, it said that overall fundamentals of the economy remained strong for the Year 2017-18 as GDP Growth Rate remained at 6.0 per cent (Up to Q2). Similarly, CPI stood at 3.6 per cent (Q2), WPI at 3.6 per cent (Q2), Current Account Deficit at 14.3 billion dollar in Q1, Trade Deficit was at 41.2 billion dollar in Q1. It said that country saw Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows of 1,350.93 million dollar (As on October, 2017) whereas Foreign Exchange Reserves went up to 401,942.0 million dollar (As on December 1, 2017). According to Ministry, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services and trade, hotels, transport & communication and services related to broadcasting sectors registered growth of over 6.0 percent in Q2 of 2017-18 over Q2 of 2016-17. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Government of India’s local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive after a period of 13 years in recognition of the Government’s commitment to macro stability which led to low inflation, declining deficit and prudent external balance along with Government’s fiscal consolidation programme. India’s ranking in World Bank’s doing Business Report rose to 100 - 30 places up over its rank of 130 in the Doing Business Report 2017 - highest jump in rank of any country in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Report, 2018. This made India the only country in South Asia and BRICS economies to feature among most improved economies of the EoDB Report this year.