C. Rangarajan (for Info only, not official)

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C. Rangarajan

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    ...The trend of declining growth rate quarter after quarter, which was seen in the last one year, has been reversed. This is a welcome sign. However, doubts and concerns persist for some. Signs of revival? Is this a flash in the pan or is it a sign of a revival? Can we expect a further rise in the growth rate in the rest of the year? Some people are disturbed by the excessive focus on GDP and its growth rate. It is true that development has many dimensions and for a balanced view, one must look at all of them. Nevertheless, GDP is an important indicator of the performance of the economy, and a faster rate of growth is most often a prerequisite for rapid social development. What are the encouraging signs flowing out of the data on GDP for the July-September quarter? For this, we need to look at sectoral growth rates. The most encouraging sign is the performance of the manufacturing sector which grew at 7% against 1.2% in the previous quarter. ...

    The Hindu on Dec. 8, 2017, 12:42 a.m.

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    ...Among other things, one factor that stands out is the steady and sharp decline in the investment rate. The Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) rate has touched the level of 27.5% in the first quarter of 2017-18. A year ago, it was 29.2%, and a decade ago, it was 10 percentage points higher. In recent years, public investment has shown a small rise. The decline in the investment rate has been largely due to a decline in the private investment rate, both corporate and household. Fiscal and revenue deficits Given this situation, policy initiatives must be directed towards raising private investment. However, some have argued for a strong fiscal stimulus through an increase in public investment by relaxing the fiscal deficit. It is also suggested that what is relevant is revenue deficit and that there is no rationale for having a fiscal deficit target. There are two problems with this argument. ...

    The Hindu on Oct. 17, 2017, 12:09 a.m.

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    ...Or are we stuck at a new ‘Hindu’ rate of growth? Recent trends About a week ago, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter (April-June) of 2017-18. The numbers showed that in Q1 of 2017-18, GDP grew by 5.7%. Gross value added (GVA) at basic prices grew by 5.6%. Whichever measure you take, the growth rate has fallen below 6%. In the corresponding quarter of the previous year, GDP grew at 7.9% and GVA at 7.6%. What accounts for the decline in growth rate by almost 2 percentage points? Certainly, demonetisation must have had a negative impact. Also, the destocking of goods which might have happened prior to the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) must have also had a negative impact. However, it might be inappropriate to attribute the entire decline of 2 percentage points to the two factors. What has been happening is a steady decline from the first quarter of 2016-17 when the growth rate of GVA was 7.6%. ...

    The Hindu on Sept. 13, 2017, 12:06 a.m.

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    ...Or are we stuck at a new ‘Hindu’ rate of growth? Recent trends About a week ago, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter (April-June) of 2017-18. The numbers showed that in Q1 of 2017-18, GDP grew by 5.7%. Gross value added (GVA) at basic prices grew by 5.6%. Whichever measure you take, the growth rate has fallen below 6%. In the corresponding quarter of the previous year, GDP grew at 7.9% and GVA at 7.6%. What accounts for the decline in growth rate by almost 2 percentage points? Certainly, demonetisation must have had a negative impact. Also, the destocking of goods which might have happened prior to the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) must have also had a negative impact. However, it might be inappropriate to attribute the entire decline of 2 percentage points to the two factors. What has been happening is a steady decline from the first quarter of 2016-17 when the growth rate of GVA was 7.6%. ...

    The Hindu on Sept. 12, 2017, 9:44 p.m.

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    ...The term ‘universal’ is meant to connote that the minimum or basic income will be provided to everyone irrespective of whatever their current income is. The adoption of a universal basic income can impose a burden on the fisc which is well beyond the capabilities of most developing countries, including India. In discussing the applicability of the concept of basic income to India, three questions arise. The first is whether it should be ‘universal’ or ‘restricted’; the second is what the level of minimum income is and how this is to be determined; and the third is about the financing mechanism for implementing such a scheme. Also Read ‘Time ripe for discussions on Universal Basic Income’ Cash versus services Above all, there is a philosophical question, whether support to vulnerable sections should be in the form of goods and services or as cash. Cash gives the discretion to beneficiaries to spend it any way they like. But it is assumed they would be wise in their discretion. ...

    The Hindu on Aug. 6, 2017, 11:35 p.m.

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    ...What do they hold for the immediate future? Briefly, this is the picture. Recent revisions in the Index of Industrial Production and Wholesale Price Index do not alter the annual growth rates for the recent years. The differences are in one or two decimal points. The growth rate for 2015-16 is estimated at 8%. The growth rate for 2016-17 is 7.1%, which is the same as forecast a few months ago. Impact of demonetisation It is the numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016-17, that is, for the quarter January-March 2017, which has attracted much attention. The numbers are being scanned with a critical eye to know what impact demonetisation had on the economy. The overall growth rate of GDP is 6.1%, which is nearly 1% below the growth rate for the previous quarter at 7%. The year-on-year decline is, however, steep. In analysing the January-March quarter numbers, we need to keep in mind three factors. First, a decline in growth rate has been seen from the beginning of the year. The growth rate of every quarter has been sliding from the previous quarter. ...

    The Hindu on June 9, 2017, 11:34 a.m.

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    ...What do they hold for the immediate future? Briefly, this is the picture. Recent revisions in the Index of Industrial Production and Wholesale Price Index do not alter the annual growth rates for the recent years. The differences are in one or two decimal points. The growth rate for 2015-16 is estimated at 8%. The growth rate for 2016-17 is 7.1%, which is the same as forecast a few months ago. Impact of demonetisation It is the numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016-17, that is, for the quarter January-March 2017, which has attracted much attention. The numbers are being scanned with a critical eye to know what impact demonetisation had on the economy. The overall growth rate of GDP is 6.1%, which is nearly 1% below the growth rate for the previous quarter at 7%. The year-on-year decline is, however, steep. In analysing the January-March quarter numbers, we need to keep in mind three factors. First, a decline in growth rate has been seen from the beginning of the year. The growth rate of every quarter has been sliding from the previous quarter. ...

    The Hindu on June 8, 2017, 11:55 p.m.

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    ...The Central Statistics Office’s second advanced estimates indicate that the growth rate of GDP for 2016-17 will be 7.1% as against 7.9% in 2015-16. The growth rate of gross value added at basic prices in 2016-17 will be 6.7% as against 7.8% in 2015-16. The growth rates projected for 2016-17 do not capture the impact of demonetisation, which when taken into account may bring down the projected growth rate by around 0.5%. The decline in the growth rate is not a recent phenomenon. It started in 2011-12. The persistence of relatively low growth over a five-year period calls for a critical examination. Even though the new numbers on national income give us some comfort, they do not tell the whole story. Determinants of growth Ultimately, the growth rate is determined by two factors — the investment rate and the efficiency in the use of capital. ...

    The Hindu on April 3, 2017, 12:27 a.m.