Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said this was not the first time that India’s Gross Domestic Product growth has dropped to 5.7%.
“During the six years of the previous government, the GDP was at or below 5.7% eight times,” he said while addressing an event celebrating 50 years of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India via video conference. “But the government is making efforts to reverse the trend.”
India’s GDP growth reached a three-year low of 5.7% in the first quarter of the 2017-’18 financial year. The government’s demonetisation exercise and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax were blamed for the economic slowdown.
The prime minister went on to mention how inflation and fiscal deficit had dropped under the governance of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, and that foreign exchange reserves had increased.
Modi also highlighted that after the government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016, the cash to GDP ratio had slumped 9%, compared with 12% before demonetisation. Cash to GDP ratio is the ratio of the government’s public debt to its GDP.
Referring to the Opposition’s criticism of the Centre’s economic policies, he said: “There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of pessimism all around. We need to recognise such people.”
He also said he had asked the GST Council to review the problems traders are facing, and that government was willing to make changes accordingly.