Chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Monday said India’s economic slowdown is more cyclical than structural in nature, and the government has a well-thought-out agenda for reforms to revive the economy.
“The current slowdown is a lot more on the cyclical side. The steps we are taking, like the corporate tax rate cut, are intended to create a more favourable environment for investments that are required for sustained growth," Subramanian said at the FICCI Young Leaders Summit, adding that private investment is a key driver of economic growth and consumption is a force multiplier.
Subramanian acknowledged that the country’s economy is facing a slowdown, but said the nature of it should be gauged by estimating the potential growth rate of the economy. “If the growth potential has changed because of some structural aspects of the economy, then you can say that the slowdown is structural," Subramanian added.
India’s economy grew at 4.5% in July-September, the slowest pace in six years. Though the government has announced a slew of measures over the last four months to boost growth and improve private consumption, the steps are yet to yield the desired results.
The economic advisor also said there has been no change in the demographics, demand, and the ability of companies to supply. “The government is now doing a lot of reforms, and reforms enhance the productivity of the economy. We are taking all the steps that are necessary," Subramanian said.
Subramanian also spoke about the importance of treating data as a public good. “Data is of the people, by the people, and hence, should be for the people," he said. The government should also promote the use of soft infrastructure such as data infrastructure, he added.
On Saturday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said there was need to ensure credibility in government data, while adding that the government holds back data only in cases of issues in reports from surveys on the ground.
“We need to assure people who need the data and lots of people need the data... Even the government needs its own data. But the fact is when sometimes something genuine has gone wrong in the ground, and therefore, survey results have been held back," she had said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2019 in New Delhi.
The government is fairly seized of the ongoing debate about data and its credibility, the minister had added.