Indian economy grew 7.1% in first half of fiscal: Sitharaman

j-lNew Delhi, (IANS) The Indian economy grew at 7.1 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal, despite subdued growth in the global economy, Parliament was informed on Monday.

“Despite subdued growth in the world economy, India has maintained a GDP growth rate of 7.2 per cent in 2014-15, 7.6 per cent in 2015-16, and 7.1 per cent during April to September of 2016-17,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

She said the government has taken various steps to boost industrial production and growth, including initiatives like Make in India and Startup India, liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules and development of industrial corridors.

“During April-September, 2016-17, IIP (Index of Industrial Production) declined by 0.1 per cent over April-September 2015-16,” Sitharaman said.

“The annual growth of IIP increased from minus 0.1 per cent in 2013-14 to 2.8 per cent in 2014-15, and slightly decreased to 2.4 per cent in 2015-16,” she added.

The Minister also said the primary responsibility of industrial development of backward areas rested with the state governments, while the central government supplements their efforts through various schemes.

India’s last pre-demonetisation GDP figures, pertaining to the second quarter ending September, are likely to be released on Wednesday. Data for the third quarter ending December will factor in demonetisation-induced slowdown.

In an effort to curb the menace of black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing, the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from November 8 midnight.

In the first quarter ended June, the Indian economy’s growth rate slowed to a six-quarter low of 7.1 per cent, caused mainly by a drop in construction, mining and agriculture sectors.

Medaram Jathara

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