New Delhi, January 7: After the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reportedly increased in the second half of the financial year, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the annual growth rate assumes significance. This was also highlighted as Centre weaned away public sector expenditure which had peaked away in 2016-17 on account of the implementation on the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission.

The NITI Aayog chief further added that India’s economic activity has been picking up for the last three quarters and the country’s GDP growth will become more robust in next one year.

Rajiv Kumar was reacting to the growth estimates of 2017-18 released by the Central Statistics (CSO). The second half GDP growth in 2017-18 has risen to 7 per cent, bringing an annual growth rate to 6.5 per cent, GDP growth will become more robust in 2018-19.

Kumar also pointed out that the economic activity has been picking up over the last three quarters and can be expected to strengthen in the coming period with the manufacturing PMI now reading at a five-year high and FMCG demand going up.

According to the CSO data, in India, the economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2017-18, mainly due to a poor performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

In 2016-17, the GDP was 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 and 8 per cent in the preceding year. It was 7.5 per cent in 2014-15.

According to a statement issued by the NITI Aayog, Kumar said that economic activity can be expected to strengthen in the coming period “with the manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) now reading at a five-year high of 54 per cent, and Fast Moving Consumer Goods demand picking up briskly”.

These remarks came after Chief Statistician T.C.A Anant announced that Indian economy was expected to grow at a slower 6.5 per cent in 2017-18 compared to the 7.1 per cent in 2016-17, according to IANS report.

Kumar on Saturday afternoon compared the reforms made in 1991, like privatisation, by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh to the reforms made by Modi government like GST and demonetisation.