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India Economic Outlook: FICCI Survey Unveils Robust Growth Projections

FICCI's Economic Survey predicts 6.8% GDP growth for India, driven by agriculture (3.5%), industry (6.3%), & services (7.3%), with inflation at 4.5%. Gov should focus on agri-infra, skill development, & manufacturing to sustain this growth.

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FICCI ECONOMY OUTLOOK

As the full Budget for 2024-25 is expected to be presented on July 24 during the Monsoon Session of Parliament the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has released its May 2024 Economic Outlook Survey, outlining a promising trajectory for India's economic future. The report forecasts a 6.8% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fiscal year 2024-25, exceeding earlier estimates of 6.5%. This positive outlook is underpinned by anticipated improvements across key sectors like agriculture, industry, and services, alongside a controlled inflation rate.

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Deeper Dive into Growth Drivers for Indian Economy in 2024-25

Sectoral Growth

  • Agriculture (3.5% growth): Favourable monsoon predictions and the end of El Niño conditions are expected to bring a significant rebound in the agricultural sector. Government initiatives, such as improved storage infrastructure, cold chain facilities, and food processing units, will help minimise price volatility.
  • Industry (6.3% growth): Increased capacity utilisation and a surge in post-election investments are poised to propel industrial growth, which will be critical for job creation and overall economic development.
  • Services (7.3% growth): The services sector, encompassing IT, education, healthcare, and financial services, is projected to be the leading growth driver, reflecting India's burgeoning digital economy and skilled workforce.
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Inflation and Trade

Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation is anticipated to remain moderate at around 4.5%. This controlled inflation rate will ensure stable consumer spending and promote business investment. The report also forecasts moderate growth in trade activities, with exports reaching USD 450 billion and imports at USD 724 billion.

Monetary Policy

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The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) repo rate, which influences lending rates in the economy, is predicted to remain at 6.5% by June 2024. However, a potential reduction to 6.0% by the fiscal year-end is on the table, contingent on maintaining stable inflation trends. This accommodative monetary policy is expected to stimulate economic activity without compromising price stability.

Priorities for Sustaining Growth: A Look Ahead

With India moving forward with the new BJP lead NDA government, the onus falls on policymakers to ensure the continuation and acceleration of economic progress. FICCI's report highlights several crucial areas that require immediate attention:

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Agriculture and Food Security

    • Infrastructure Investments: Building robust storage facilities, cold chains, and modern food processing units will minimise post-harvest losses and price fluctuations, ensuring food security and improved farmer incomes.
    • Empowering Farmers: Promoting Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) equips farmers with greater bargaining power, allowing them to negotiate better prices for their produce and access vital inputs like seeds and fertilisers more efficiently.
    • Financial Safety Nets: Expanding crop and livestock insurance schemes will shield farmers from the vagaries of weather and market uncertainties, fostering greater resilience in the agricultural sector.
    • Market Innovations: Developing agriculture commodities derivatives markets will promote efficient price discovery and income stabilisation for farmers, facilitating better risk management.

Education, Skilling, and Healthcare

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    • Skill-Based Learning: Integrating digital technologies and practical training modules into education curricula is essential for preparing India's workforce for the demands of the 21st-century economy.
    • Teacher Training: Investing in modern teacher training methods will enhance the quality of education across the board, fostering a skilled and productive workforce.
    • Healthcare Infrastructure: Prioritising the development of hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities along with investments in healthcare professionals will ensure accessible and quality healthcare services, improving overall public health and national productivity.

Employment and Manufacturing

    • Public-Private Partnerships: Encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors in infrastructure and renewable energy projects will create significant job opportunities, contributing to economic growth and social development.
    • Urban Employment Programs: Exploring urban employment schemes similar to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) could provide much-needed job security and income generation opportunities in urban areas.
    • Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Providing incentives and ensuring access to low-cost capital can empower small businesses to scale up operations, fostering innovation and job creation.
    • Manufacturing Hub: Developing a robust network of multimodal logistics parks, streamlining the Goods and Services Tax (GST) structure, and rationalising customs duty rates will enhance India's competitiveness as a global manufacturing hub.
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A Catalyst for Long-Term Growth For India

The FICCI Economic Outlook Survey paints a compelling picture for India's economic future. With strategic reforms, robust sectoral growth, and controlled inflation, the stage is set for sustained economic expansion. However, achieving this potential requires a continued focus on critical areas like agricultural development, human capital development, and fostering a robust manufacturing ecosystem.

By prioritising these areas and fostering an environment conducive to business growth and innovation, the new government can unlock India's full economic potential and propel the nation towards a future of shared prosperity. This positive outlook, coupled with decisive policy action, can position India as a leading economic powerhouse in the years to come.

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