Rajiv Kumar at a press conference after assuming office as the NITI Aayog vice-chairman in New Delhi. (Photo: Sanjay K Sharma)
NITI Aayog's new Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar pegged gross domestic product (GDP) expansion at 7-7.5 per cent in the second quarter of the current financial year, a day after the country's economic growth
in the first quarter fell to its lowest at 5.7 per cent in the three years of the Modi government.
Attributing subdued GDP growth
in the first quarter to destocking in the pre-goods and services tax period, higher WPI deflator, and base effect, Kumar said a turnaround in corporate investments was already happening. He stressed that the first quarter GDP figures were not a trend.
He also advised the government to bring down its interventions, like export bans, in agriculture.
"We need to facilitate an ecosystem outside agriculture, like in food processing etc, and make farming remunerative," Kumar further suggested.
He said the country needs to develop an Indian model of development and growth that needs to generate employment.
The new NITI VC also said he would like to see governance percolate to the state level.
Kumar attributed lower agriculture growth to crop prices since April-June is a rabi marketing season.
Agriculture and allied activities grew 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of FY18, against 5.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY17.