New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram Saturday asked the government to pay heed to certain challenges flagged by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian in his Economic Survey instead of “shooting the messenger” “CEA speaks truth to power cautiously. Don’t shoot the messenger,” Chidambaram said.
“Economic slowdown is real. CEA says so. Will PM and FM believe him?,” Chidamabram said in a series of tweets a day after the government presented the mid-year economic survey in Parliament.
The CEA had listed a number of challenges facing the economy such as appreciation of the rupee, farm loan waivers, rising stress on balance sheets in power and telecom sectors. He had also flagged concerns over transition issues arising from implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“There has been an across-the-board deceleration” in real economic activity since the first and second quarter of last year. It is less likely than before that we will reach the upper end of the 6.75 to 7.5% growth forecast for the fiscal year to March 2018, Subramanian had said in a media briefing soon after the Survey was presented in Parliament.
He listed GST receipts, growth outlook, receipts from telecom spectrum and 7th Pay Commission outgo on government employees salary as downside risks to economic growth.
His survey had also warned of fiscal slippages indicating to a series of “deflationary impulses” weighing on an economy. It said farm loan waiver could cut economy demand by up to 0.7% of GDP as the waivers by states could touch Rs 2.7lakh crore. India’s economy grew 7.1% in fiscal 2017 but slowed to 6.1% in January-March period, its lowest in more than two years.