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Indian economy to see positive growth from third quarter onward, says DEA Secretary Tarun Bajaj


Growth in the third and fourth quarter of the ongoing fiscal are likely to be positive, along the lines of the Reserve Bank of India’s assessment and as per the indicators the finance ministry was tracking, according to Tarun Bajaj, secretary of economic affairs.

“I’m sure that the way the parameters that we are monitoring (are going), it should actually be positive,” Bajaj said, virtually addressing a conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry on Friday.

Further, while the next year would be spent recovering from the pandemic, Bajaj expects growth in the coming year to be marginally over FY20 levels.

“Covid has taken the sheen away from this year and next year we will only be recovering from Covid and maybe crossing the 2019-20 figures by a slight margin,” he said.

In response to concerns of shrinking government expenditure, Bajaj said that government expenditure as of November grew 5% year-on-year while capital expenditure grew 15% annually in the same period.

“We have now got the flash figure for November and the government expenditure is up by 5% year-on-year and capital expenditure is up by 15% year-on-year,” he said.

The government’s revenue shortfall has decreased in the ongoing quarter as compared to the end of the second quarter, with the inflow of advance taxes on December 15, the secretary said.

“The advance taxes numbers have also been better than what we had anticipated and now the shortfall of total revenue that we have, has actually lessened as compared to 15th of September,” he said.

Signalling a revival in direct tax mop-up, the Rs 1.4 lakh crore total advance tax collection, including corporate and personal income tax, rose 33% in the December quarter.

With regard to the progress on asset monetisation, the government was working on important areas like warehouses, shipping, power and roads.

“The asset monetisation on all important areas like power, shipping, road, even warehouses, is in the works and very soon we will see those coming up,” he said.

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