NEW DELHI: Retaining its position as one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, Indian economy grew 7.2 per cent in the first of the current fiscal, said Finance Ministry on Friday.
The Ministry said that inflation has remained in “comfort zone” during the year with retail and wholesale inflation averaging 5.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively in the April-October period.
During 2016-17, the economy has continued to consolidate the gains achieved in restoring macroeconomic stability and despite the continuing global sluggishness and the recent pickup in petroleum prices, the economic growth has continued to be robust and inflation has remained “more or less stable” in the current year.
“The stress given to fiscal consolidation through expenditure rationalisation and revenue raising efforts and the focus on administrative measures for cooperative financial governance and also steps towards containing inflation have contributed significantly to macroeconomic stability,” an official statement said.
However, India’s external debt decreased by $0.8 billion from the end-March 2016 level to $484 billion at end-September 2016, the government said. As of September, while the long-term external debt accounted for 83.2 percent of India’s total external debt, the short-term external debt stood at 16.8 per cent.
Farmers can now insure rabi crops till January 10 In a bid to provide relief to farmers hit by demonetisation, the government on Friday extended the window for insuring 2016-17 rabi (winter) crops till January 10, 2017. The deadline to take insurance policy for both loanee and non-loanee farmers for rabi crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) expires on December 31, 2016.
The ministry said that the cut-off date has been extended considering the situation as a “special case.” More time has been given to non-loanee farmers to submit the application and premium to the bank. Also, banks have been given additional time to debit the premium and send to insurance companies, it said.
“This may, however, be treated as a one-time extension only,” the directive said. In the kharif season as many as 374.13 lakh farmers had insured their crops and the sum insured was H1,41,487 crore. Under PMFBY, farmers pay a very nominal premium and get a full claim for their crop damage.
Fiscal deficit at 86%
Fiscal deficit touched the H4.58 lakh crore mark, or 85.8 percent of the budget estimate for the whole financial year, at the end of April-November. Fiscal deficit has been pegged at H5.33 lakh crore, or 3.5 percent of GDP, in 2016-17.
RBI seeks info on deposits
Reserve Bank of India has asked all lenders including rural banks to report details of deposits of old H500/1,000 notes to it through e-mail after the close of banking hours on December 30, which is the last date to accept the invalid currency.