Miles to go: On the state of the Indian economy


  • According to Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) V. Anantha Nageswaran, India’s economy has emerged from the challenges posed by the pandemic and is poised for a sustained period of growth.

An Optimistic prognosis:

  • Lesser projection could underestimate potentials: The higher-than-expected 7.2% GDP growth recorded last year could even be an underestimate of the true potential.
  • Growth in indicators: The economy has gained strong momentum, and macroeconomic fundamentals have improved, with inflation and trade deficits easing in recent months.
  • Sustainable reforms: Reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and digitization have led to cleaner bank and corporate balance sheets while promoting formalization.

More to be done:

  • Rationalising policies: The economy being on ‘auto-pilot’ suggests that there may be a lack of appetite for significant reforms, such as rationalizing the GST structure or addressing outdated factor market laws.
  • Sector-specific growth: Certain sectors like steel and cement are witnessing increased capacity utilization.
  • Out-pass projection levels: COVID-19 impact, indicated by a 5.8% GDP contraction in 2020-21, simply returning to the pre-pandemic growth trajectory is not sufficient.


  • China’s dominance: To leverage India’s potential as an alternative to China in global supply chains, the government needs to align its actions with its intent.
  • Taxation and tariff barriers: Policies like high import tariffs and the complicated ‘angel tax’ on foreign investments, along with inefficiencies in online services for company registration, undermine investor confidence.
  • Building Investor confidence: It is crucial to establish conditions that enable hassle-free progress and inspire investor confidence to fully tap into India’s economic potential.

Mains Question: Considering the recent trends and challenges faced by India’s economy, critically analyze the factors that influence GDP growth projections and their accuracy.

Syllabus mapping:

  • Subject: Economy (GS-III)
    • Sub-topic: Growth and Development
  • Start by briefly explaining the importance of GDP growth projections in guiding economic policy.
  • Mention various factors that influence GDP growth projections.
  • Explore the assumptions made and limitations associated with the models used to project GDP growth.
  • Examine how optimistic GDP growth projections can influence policy decisions related to fiscal policy, monetary policy, infrastructure development, and investment strategies.
  • Summarize the key points discussed in the answer and emphasize the importance of robust GDP growth projections for effective economic policymaking in India.

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