Current Economic Slowdown Will Not Continue for Long: NK Singh, Finance Commission Chairman

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Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh said the current economic slowdown is episodic and expressed hope that sluggishness will not continue for long.

India’s economic growth hit a six-year low of 5 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal. It is estimated that the growth may further slip to below 5 per cent in the second quarter and overall the economy is likely to register a less than 5 per cent expansion for the full fiscal.

“I do not regard that the current economic sluggishness is something that the country is going to experience for too long. I remain optimistic that the current slowdown is as much as anecdotal, episodic as much as cyclical and structural,” he said at an event.

Singh, however, stressed that India should continue with both structural and cyclical reforms.

On Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said global economic structure is changing, but India is not at a disadvantage.

It is inherent that India was better off in a multilateral world than in a bilateral world, he said, adding that the country should continue to strengthen multilateral activity, but should also keep its own interests in mind.

Earlier this month, India decided not to join the mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi’s concerns.

Pointing out that India improved overall budgetary resources to the health sector, he said there is scope for further improvement especially on the financing side. The finance commission had constituted a group to study the health sector to holistically examine best international practices for the health sector and seek to benchmark framework to these practices for optimising benefits keeping in mind local issues.

The panel is also evaluating the existing regulatory framework in the Health sector and examine its strength and weaknesses for enabling a balanced yet faster expansion of the health sector keeping in view India’s Demographic profile.

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