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India can become world's fifth largest economy provided growth momentum continues, says Arun Jaitley

FP Staff
Arun Jaitley clarified that the 'larger purpose of demonetisation was to move India from a tax non-compliant society to a compliant one'

A day after the World Bank's (WB) rankings pegged India as the world's sixth-largest economy, pushing France into seventh place, union minister Arun Jaitley said the country will soon become the world's fifth largest economy if 'firm growth' continues.

India's gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of 2017, as against $2.582 trillion for France.

Jaitley, speaking at a National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) event on Thursday, stressed that the economy is in a stable condition. He, however, said there should be more focus on eliminating agrarian distress, ET Now reported.

The union minister said the NDA government is paying special attention towards improving rural infrastructure.

Jaitly said the government's recent decision to hike minimum support prices (MSP) for 14 Kharif crops will eradicate farm distress. He claimed that the MSP hike will help increase farmers income, and added that the decision was "a huge step to reduce the plight of farmers in the country," ET Now reported.

The government on 4 July, hiked the MSP for paddy by a record Rs 200 per quintal -- a move that will cost the exchequer over Rs 15,000 crore and help fulfil a poll promise to give farmers a 50 percent higher rate over their cost of production.

The decision, taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came less than a year before general elections, scheduled for early 2019.

In the last four years, the NDA government has raised the paddy MSP by Rs 50-80 per quintal. Previously, the highest hike in paddy MSP was Rs 170 a quintal in fiscal 2012-13, the election year of UPA-II

With inputs from PTI

Also See: Farm loan waivers to touch $40 billion by 2019 Lok Sabha elections, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch report

Centre's MSP hike is damage control move by govt to cover apathy, says Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil

Hike in Kharif MSP to cost Narendra Modi government Rs 33,500 crore more, decision likely today

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