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Economic growth is projected to remain strong and India will remain the fastest-growing G20 economy. The increase in public wages and pensions will support consumption. Private investment will recover gradually as excess capacity diminishes, and the landmark Goods and Services Tax and other measures to improve the ease of doing business are being implemented. However, large non-performing loans and high leverage of some companies are holding back investment.
Monetary policy is projected to remain tight as inflation expectations have still not fully adjusted down. The need to reduce the relatively high public-debt-to-GDP ratio leaves little room for fiscal stimulus. However, investing more in physical and social infrastructure is critical to raising living standards for all. This should be financed by a comprehensive reform of income and property taxes. Restoring credit discipline and cleaning up banks' balance sheets will be instrumental to support the credit growth needed to finance more business investment.
Trade openness has increased, partly driven by a competitive service sector. Manufacturing has lagged behind, with limited contribution to exports and job creation, leaving many workers in low-paid jobs. Promoting quality job creation in manufacturing would require reducing further restrictions on FDI and trade, modernising labour regulations and providing better education and skills. Better infrastructure, transport and logistic services would facilitate manufacturing firms’ access to global markets, particularly from remote and poorer regions.
Economic Survey of India (survey page)