According to the Economic Survey released on 29th January, India’s real GDP is set to record a growth of 11 per cent in 2021-22 and nominal GDP by 15.4 per cent-the highest since independence. The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Economic Survey 2020-21 in Parliament which states that the rebound will be led by the low base and continued normalization in economic activities as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines gathers traction.
The fundamentals of the economy remain strong as gradual scaling back of lockdowns along with the astute support of Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission have placed the economy firmly on the path of revival. This path would entail a growth in real GDP by 2.4 percent over the absolute level of 2019-20-implying that the economy would take two years to reach and go past the pre-pandemic level. These projections are in line with IMF estimate of real GDP growth of 11.5 per cent in 2021-22 for India and 6.8 per cent in 2022-23. India is expected to emerge as the fastest growing economy in the next two years as per IMF.
The survey says, India’s GDP is estimated to contract by 7.7 per cent in FY2020-21, composed of a sharp 15.7 per cent decline in first half and a modest 0.1 per cent fall in the second half. Sector-wise, agriculture has remained the silver lining while contact-based services, manufacturing, construction were hit hardest, and have been recovering steadily. Government consumption and net exports have cushioned the growth from diving further down.
As anticipated, while the lockdown resulted in a 23.9 per cent contraction in GDP in Q1, the recovery has been a V-shaped one as seen in the 7.5 per cent decline in Q2 and the recovery across all key economic indicators. Starting July, a resilient V-shaped recovery is underway, as demonstrated by the recovery in GDP growth in Q2 after the sharp decline in Q1. As India’s mobility and pandemic trends aligned and improved concomitantly, indicators like E-way bills, rail freight, GST collections and power consumption not only reached pre-pandemic levels but also surpassed previous year levels.