IS 5.7% GROWTH A SLOWDOWN?

Domestic criticism of economic growth notwithstanding, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today said nobody outside India calls its 5.7 per cent GDP growth as a slowdown as it is much better than that clocked by major economies of Europe. "What you are calling a slowdown would be a major performance in Europe. 5.7 per cent by comparison to 2 per cent in Europe is showing that India is doing well. I wouldn't be too afraid of what you are calling slowdown. "Nobody outside India is calling this a slowdown," he said on the sidelines of India European Union Business Forum here. The comment comes amidst intense criticism in the country over the its economic growth rate slowing down to three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter ended June due to demonetisation and implementation of GST. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim had said yesterday that the recent slowdown in India's economic growth is an "aberration" mainly due to the temporary disruptions in preparation for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and it will get corrected in the coming months. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had in a recent article headlined "I need to speak up now", described the economy as a "mess" that will not resuscitate before the next general elections in 2019. Sinha had said the purpose behind highlighting the concerns about the economy through an article was to bring certain issues in public domain so that the government does a course correction. He said he did not expect his article to create "such a furore".

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