India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.6 per cent in 2019-20, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today. The economic growth is likely to go up with increased productivity post implementation of GST and investment revival due to various banking reforms.

In the last fiscal the economy grew by 6.6 per cent as it took time to recover from the impact of demonetisation in 2016. Initially, business houses also faced slowdown due to implementation of GST, and subdued agriculture growth also brought down the level of economic activity in the country.

The ADB’s growth projection of 7.3 per cent this fiscal is in line with that of rating agency Fitch, but a tad lower than RBI’s forecast of 7.4 per cent.

In its Asian Development Outlook, 2018, Manila-based ADB said the growth will pick up as the new tax regime improves productivity and as banking reform and corporate deleveraging take hold to reverse a downtrend in investment.

“In sum, growth is forecast to pick up to 7.3 per cent in FY2018 on improved rural consumption, a modest uptick in private investment, and less drag from net exports. Urban consumption growth will remain stable, and impetus from public investment modest,” it said.

Growth is expected to pick up further to 7.6 per cent in FY2019 as efforts to strengthen the banking system and continued corporate deleveraging are likely to bolster private investment.

“Also set to catalyse growth are benefits from the GST as it mitigates geographic fragmentation and adds revenue to the exchequer, as well as further progress on fiscal consolidation and reform to promote FDI,” it said.

“The deferment of fiscal consolidation, upside risks to inflation, and expected hikes in US interest rates in 2018 squeeze maneuvering room for policy rate cuts to stimulate growth. At the same time, the odds of a rate hike are low with the central bank indicating tolerance for slightly higher inflation and recognition of the need to nurture recovery. Consequently, the status quo is likely to hold in FY2018, albeit with some risk of monetary tightening,” it said.

With Inputs From PTI