New Delhi: On the day Nirmala Sitharaman took charge as finance minister in the Modi government, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the fourth and final quarter (January-March) of the fiscal year 2018-19, which slowed to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent. (ALSO READ – India’s Unemployment Rate at 6.1% in 2017-18, Highest in 45 Years, Confirms Government Data)
The CSO also revealed that the GDP growth during the 2018-19 fiscal year stood at 6.8 per cent, lower than 7.2 per cent in the previous financial year.
The official data released on Friday claimed that the slowdown in India’s economic growth is due to poor performance in the agricultural and manufacturing sector.
The GDP growth is the slowest since the 2014-15 fiscal year. The previous low was 6.4 per cent in 2013-14.
Some major economic reforms are expected from the Modi government after he received a bigger mandate than 2014.
Earlier, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) survey had predicted India’s GDP to grow at 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, which was 0.7 per cent higher than the actual figure.
Ficci said that the survey has put forth an annual median GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 at 7.1 per cent and the projection for fiscal 2020-21 has been put at 7.2 per cent.
“The minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.8 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively, for 2019-20 in the survey, which was conducted in May 2019 among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sector,” it said.
The quarterly GDP growth has been on a constant decline since the first quarter of the 2018-19 fiscal year. In April-June, the GDP growth was at 8.0 per cent, followed by 7.0 per cent in the second quarter and then fell to 6.6 per cent in the third quarter.
India also lost its position to China as the fastest growing major economy which has registered 6.4 per cent growth in the March quarter.