GST revenue to rein in fiscal deficit

The Economic Survey on Friday pinned its hope on the uptick in growth of cumulative GST collections in October 2019 and November-December to contain fiscal deficit at the budgeted 3.3 percent for FY2020. In 2019-20, Centre's fiscal deficit was budgeted at Rs 7.04 lakh crore (3.3 percent of GDP), as compared to Rs 6.49 lakh crore (3.4 percent of GDP) in 2018-19. Good and Services Tax (GST) collections, the biggest component of indirect taxes, grew by 4.1 percent for the Centre during April-November 2019. However, the uptick in growth of cumulative GST collections for the Centre started in October 2019 and has sustained its momentum in November-December 2019 as well, the survey pointed out. (IANS)

Realtors sell unsold stock at low prices

With the Indian housing sector reeling under a large number of unsold inventory, the Economic Survey 2019-20 has suggested that developers should clear their stock by taking a haircut and selling apartments at lower prices. The survey also said that real estate players taking a haircut would also help clean the balance sheets of banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFC). "Existing unsold housing inventory can be cleared and the balance sheets of both bank/non-bank lenders cleaned if the real estate developers are willing to take a 'hair-cut' by allowing the house-prices to drop," it said. Commenting on the survey, Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants said: "As for property prices, they are already at their lowest best across most cities and the prospects of them reducing further are extremely low. Nor are pricing the sole reason for lack of demand. In fact, as much as 36 percent of the existing unsold stock is in the affordable price bracket of Rs 40 lakh and below." (IANS)

Projects to attract infra investments

A bouquet of well-prepared projects in roads, rail, and housing amongst others will attract investments in the infrastructure sector, the Economic Survey 2019-20 said on Friday. The survey was tabled in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Accordingly, the survey suggested that a bouquet of projects in road, railways, civil aviation, telecom, and housing will be able to attract local as well as foreign investments. "To achieve GDP of $5 trillion by 2024-2025, India needs to spend about $1.4 trillion (Rs 100 lakh crore) over these years on infrastructure so that lack of infrastructure does not become a constraint to the growth of the Indian economy," the survey said. "NIP (National Infrastructure Pipeline) is expected to enable well-prepared infrastructure projects that will create jobs, improve ease of living and provide equitable access for infrastructure for all thereby making growth more inclusive...." (IANS)

Focus on export boosting services

India should focus on export boosting services during bilateral trade negotiations to mitigate deficit with trading partners, the Economic Survey 2019-20 said on Friday. The survey was tabled in Parliament by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. As per the pre-Budget survey, services exports have outperformed goods exports in the recent years, due to which India's share in the world's commercial services exports has risen steadily over the past decade to reach 3.5 percent in 2018, twice the share in world's merchandise exports at 1.7 percent. The survey showed that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into India's services sector rose by 33 percent during April-September 2019, touching $17.58 billion. It said that rise was driven by strong inflows into sub-sectors such as "information and broadcasting, air transport, telecommunications, consultancy services, and hotel and tourism". (IANS)

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