Budget 2018

Economic Survey says GDP growth will recover to 7%-7.5% in 2018-’19

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will address a press conference at 1.30 pm.

The Indian economy is likely to grow at 6.75% in 2017-’18, and accelerate to 7%-7.5% in 2018-’19, the Centre said in the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament on Monday. The figure for 2017-’18 is at the lower end of the projection the government made in the Economic Survey last year, when it said the Gross Domestic Product was likely to rise 6.75%-7.5%.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the first volume of the Economic Survey for 2017-’18 in the Lok Sabha, three days ahead of the Union Budget. Monday is the opening day of the Parliament’s Budget Session.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will address a press conference at 1.30 pm to elaborate on sections of the Economic Survey document.

The economic outlook for the upcoming financial year 2018-19 will be “determined by economic policy in the run-up to the next national election”, the Survey said.

“If macro-economic stability is kept under control, the ongoing reforms are stabilised, and the world economy remains buoyant as today, growth could start recovering towards its medium term economic potential of at least 8%,” it said.

The revenue collections under Goods and Services Tax are “surprisingly robust given that these are early days of such a disruptive change”, the Economic Survey said. Subramanian said the collections under GST were “doing well”, and had better “buoyancy” than previous taxes.

The GST collections slipped to their lowest in November as rates were cut on several goods to make the new single tax regime more acceptable.

“Stabilising” the GST, solving the twin-balance-sheet problem of Indian banks, privatising Air India and “staving off threats to macro-economic stability” were the items the Economic Survey noted should be on the agenda for 2018-’19.

The Economic Survey acknowledged the “revival” in the economy in the later part of 2017-’18, but said the “solid improvements were tinged with anxieties” about macro-economic stability. The fiscal and current account deficits and the inflation were all “higher than expected”, the Survey said, adding that this reflected “in part” a rise in international oil prices.

The Economic Survey projected a Consumer Price Index-based inflation to reach 3.7% for the entire year. The average inflation figure from April to December averaged 3.2%.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Play

The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.