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Jaitley to hold brainstorming meet on economy

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will undertake a high-level review of the economy to discuss measures, including a possible stimulus package, to be taken amidst an economic slowdown.

Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, NITI Ayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Secretaries in the Finance Ministry — Ashok Lavasa, Subhash Chandra Garg, Hasmukh Adhia, Rajiv Kumar and Neeraj Kumar Gupta — are expected to attend the brainstorming session on Tuesday evening.

Originally, the review was to take place with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation.

Only last week, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian met Modi and discussed the state of economy.

The government is said to be considering to provide some financial stimulus to the economy in the wake of slowing growth post demonetisation, troubled transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and tepid private investment.

Pulled down by sluggish manufacturing, growth in the Indian economy in the first quarter of this fiscal fell to 5.7 per cent, clocking the lowest GDP growth rate since Modi took power in May 2014.

Chief Statistician T.C.A. Anant had said the slowdown in the first quarter to 5.7 per cent was due to de-stocking by firms as caution ahead of the GST rollout on July 1.

Reports have said the government was considering measures, both in the short and medium term which are likely to be presented in the Union Budget 2018-19, to boost exports, create jobs and narrow the trade deficit. However, there has been no official confirmation on the same.

The government may also look at resolving some of the top non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loan cases to improve the twin balance sheet scenario of banks and corporates.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter at Rs 31.10 lakh crore grew 5.7 per cent over the same quarter last year. During January to March 2017, the GDP grew by 6.1 per cent.

IANS

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