Slowing GDP growth cause for concern; distress 'very much visible in agriculture sector': Kaushik Basu

Kolkata: Distress in some sectors of the economy has slowed India's GDP growth, the consequences of which could be "far-reaching", former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu said Monday.

Basu, who was conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) at the convocation of Jadavpur University in Kolkata, told reporters that India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate has "slowed down" in recent times as "distress was being witnessed" in some sectors.

"This has resulted in a decrease in job creation and it is a cause for concern," he said.

File photo of Kaushik Basu. PTI

File photo of Kaushik Basu. PTI

Basu, the former World Bank chief economist, said distress has been "very much visible in the agriculture sector" as the "condition of farmers is bad".

The country's economy grew at 7.1 percent in July-September, the lowest in three quarters, according to the latest government data.

Stating that the slowdown may continue for six months to one year and its consequences could be "far-reaching", Basu said the government needs to pay attention to the condition of people in villages.

Basu said the agriculture sector is still feeling the effects of demonetisation, while other sectors had factored in the note ban to a large extent.

"Many farmers who had resorted to heavy borrowings in the December 2016-January 2017 period could not tide over the situation as yet. The distress in the agri sector is very much there," the economist said.

Asked about farm loan waiver, Basu said it was needed in India because of "special circumstances".

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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 18:17 PM

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