India will continue to be the fastest-growing major economy, with robust GDP growth expected to continue through 2019, the Confederation of Indian Industry said, based on strong drivers from the services sector, infrastructure activity and better demand conditions.
“Better demand conditions, settled GST implementation, capacity expansion resulting from growing investments in infrastructure and continuing positive effects of the reform policies undertaken and improved credit offtake especially in services sector at 24% will sustain the robust GDP growth in the range of 7.5% in 2019,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of CII, in a statement. CII has identified seven key drivers of growth that need to be encouraged in 2019, including lowering the number of GST rate slabs, bolstering the insolvency and bankruptcy framework, simplifying business procedures, and improving agricultural productivity, among others. “CII had suggested lowering the number of tax slabs to — a standard rate, a higher rate for demerit goods and a lower rate for some mass consumption items,” he informed.
On Ease of Doing Business, CII said the government should continue to place high priority on simplifying business procedures in 2019, especially in terms of working with the States for grassroots improvements. “While the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% is expected to be fulfilled, CII advocates that the government should keep continuing its strong programme of infrastructure development, including roads and highways, airports, waterways, and ports,” CII said. This would provide the necessary growth impetus for downstream industry sectors as well as generate employment opportunities.