Mumbai: Domestic ratings agency Icra today said GDP growth in 2014-15 may touch 5.5 per cent as pick up in manufacturing and investment is expected in the second half of the current fiscal.
“Indian GDP growth has bottomed out in first half of 2014, and we expect a mild improvement in the pace of growth from 4.6 per cent in 2013-14 to 5-5.5 per cent in 2014-15,” Icra said in a note.
A “muted” pickup in the sagging manufacturing growth and investment activity in the second half of the fiscal will make it possible for the overall GDP growth to move up, it added.
Listing out priorities for the Finance Ministry under Arun Jaitley and the Narendra Modi government as a whole, it said the growth rate can pick up to 6 per cent with the extent and pace of reform measures.
GDP growth in FY13 slipped to 4.5 per cent on account of a slew of issues including a perceived ‘policy paralysis' under the then government, slowdown in the global markets, high interest rates and a slowdown in investments. It is widely expected to climb up from that number in FY14, with the government's official estimate coming at around 4.8 per cent.
A consistent roadmap on fiscal consolidation, with clarity on issues like tax reforms, disinvestment and expenditure rationalisation, is the top priority listed out by the agency.
It said that reviving growth and containing inflation should be the core concern of the government, and called for a “balanced approach” to the farm sector which will ensure food security as well as help contain price rise. Other points suggested by the agency include clearing the projects stuck for want of approvals which will help kickstart investments and also measures to simplify business and taxation rules.
Icra called for creating consensus with the state governments for the early introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, and also reforms in the APMC (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee) Acts.