Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said the economic downturn, which began during the last two years of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance rule, had bottomed out, and growth would kick in over the next two financial quarters. “We will be achieving higher growth in the next two quarters, and I think 2018-’19 will be much better than the current year,” he said at the All India Management Association’s diamond jubilee convention in New Delhi.

India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate had fallen to 5.7% for the first quarter of the 2017-’18 financial year.

The Niti Aayog vice chairman claimed that the services and manufacturing sectors had reached their lowest point of growth in July, and had now started growing faster. He said that historically, countries that have adopted a measure like the Goods and Services Tax have seen some decline in the Gross Domestic Product growth rate. “This formalisation of economy is going to take some cost,” he added.

Kumar claimed that India had attracted foreign direct investment of $250 billion (Rs 25,000 crore) in the last three years. He also said that Indian industries must serve the “national interest”, and not the interests of “some segments of society”.