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Economic Survey 2018-19 highlights

Economic survey 2019 , Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance MinisterFollowing are the highlights of the Economic Survey 2018-19 tabled in Parliament Thursday:

* GDP growth pegged at 7 pc in 2019-20, up from 6.8 pc last fiscal

* Growth in current fiscal to be driven by investment, consumption

* Sustained 8 pc growth needed to become a USD 5-trillion economy by 2024-25

* Huge political mandate augurs well for growth prospects

* Investment is the “key driver” of simultaneous growth in demand, jobs, exports & productivity

* Green shoots in investment, visible pick-up in credit growth seen

* Crude oil prices to decline in 2019-20, to push consumption

* General government fiscal deficit seen at 5.8 pc in 2018-19, against 6.4 per cent last fiscal

* Projects imports to grow at 15.4 pc, exports at 12.5 pc for 2018-19

* Projects 283.4 million tonne of foodgrain production in 2018-19

* Foreign exchange reserves at USD 422.2 billion in June 2019

* Suggests policies to unshackle MSMEs to grow, create jobs and enhance productivity

* Calls for reorienting policies to promote young firms which have the potential to become big, rather than small MSME firms which remain small

* Flags need to prepare for ageing of the population; this necessitates more healthcare investment, increasing retirement age in a phased manner

* Highlights the immense potential of data of societal interest, says data should be “of the people, by the people, for the people”

* Legal reform, policy consistency, efficient labour markets and use of technology focus areas

* Contract enforcement biggest constraint to improve Ease of Doing Business ranking; much of the problem is concentrated in the lower courts

* Low pay and wage inequality remain serious obstacles towards achieving inclusive growth.

* Policy changes needed to lower overall lifetime ownership costs and make electric vehicles an attractive alternative to conventional vehicles

* Survey recommends harmonised overarching National Policy on Resource Efficiency.

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