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All parameters of economy are strong, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

FE Bureau
Prasad said the government is working on bringing digital processes in issuance of tax notices and reducing human interference

Terming the current economic slowdown a temporary phenomenon, Union minister for law and justice, communication and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday claimed that all parameters of the Indian economy are strong and would grow further.

The GDP growth rate remained healthy right from 2013-14 and never went below 6%, though in the first quarter of current fiscal it was 5.1% due to global factors, said Prasad during a press conference on ‘100 days of bold initiatives and decisive actions’ of the Modi 2.0 government.

"Inflation rate is 3.1%, coupled with as low as 3.4% of fiscal deficit. Foreign investments have increased by 28% to $ 16.30 billion. Foreign exchange reserves of the nation is $4.28 billion," said the minister justifying his claims.

Talking about the employment situation, he said that everybody wouldn’t get government jobs, but Rs 9.84 lakh crore disbursed to 19.99 crore people via Mudra loans would generate a plethora of new jobs. Quoting EPFO data between 2017 and June 2019, he said during the period, 2.54 crore people were enrolled. In the IT sector, 40 lakh people are directly employed and in the past five years 8.7 lakh more were employed in the sector.

Higher tax collection too is an indicator of strong fundamentals of the Indian economy, which is now the sixth-largest in the world, Prasad said, adding that income tax collection was Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14, which has gone up to Rs 10.02 lakh crore in 2017-18. "Number of taxpayers has also augmented from 3.82 crore in 2013-14 to 6.86 crore in 2017-18. There has been increase in GST collection also. In August 2019, GST collection was Rs 98,202 crore, which indicates a 4.5% rise compared with August 2018," he said.

Prasad said the government is working on bringing digital processes in issuance of tax notices and reducing human interference. The government has launched a broadband mission so that every corner of the country gets broadband connection by the end of 2022, the minister said.