GDP growth estimate on expected lines: FICCI

NEW DELHI : Commenting on GDP advance estimate for 2021-22 announced today, Mr Sanjiv Mehta, President, FICCI said, “The GDP growth estimate at 9.2 per cent for the year 2021-22 is on expected lines. However, some impact of the ongoing wave of the pandemic caused by the omicron variant will be evident in the Q4 numbers – especially in case of contact-based services and certain non-essential sectors as restrictions are once again being imposed across States.

“Maintaining balance between lives and livelihoods will have to be done. Therefore, any restrictions to be imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic must be localised as any broad-based measures can have a cascading effect on the economy and restrict the growth momentum. The vaccination program in the country is progressing very well and must continue with the same focus and efficiency,” added Mr Mehta.

“Furthermore, the Union Budget 2022-23 is less than a month away and one of the immediate priorities at hand is sustaining economic recovery while ensuring health and safety of the people. Given the current situation, it is imperative that the government continues to stimulate the economy to supplement private consumption, which is still to gather full steam. While giving impetus to demand, offering further support to MSMEs/contact-based services, extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana till September 2022, higher outlays for NREGA and targeted schemes to benefit the urban poor will be important from a short-term perspective. We hope the Budget will continue the work being done towards strengthening the foundation of our economy and taking the vision of a New India a step further. In this regard, we feel that a clearly spelled out long term strategy for R&D and innovation can be game changer giving us a competitive edge. We should have a laser like focus in developing a niche in few technology-intensive sectors like biotechnology/green technology/semiconductors and these must come into focus in the upcoming budget. Finally, the country needs a stable policy regime with regard to taxes and rates and this builds confidence amongst businesses and investors,” said Mr Mehta.