India's GDP grew 1.6% in January-March quarter.

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Money GDP Monday, May 31, 2021 - 18:19

GDP growth for the year 2020-21 is at -7.3% as opposed to 4% in 2019-20, the National Statistics Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said on Monday. This is the first yearly economic contraction in four decades. During the year, India had a complete lockdown where economic activity came to a near standstill and was gradually opened up but had not returned to pre pandemic levels. The GDP growth in Q4 of FY21 — between January and March —  was at 1.6%.

The contraction, however, is better than estimates. According to second advance estimates that was released in February, the economy was to contract 8%. GDP growth had seen contractions in the first and second quarter of FY21, before turning positive and seeing a growth of 0.5% in Q3.

“Considering the current Covid situation, the statutory timelines for filing the requisite financial returns of fourth quarter have been extended by the Government. Consequently, the private corporate sector estimates of industries are based on other indicators like IIP, GST etc. This may have implications on subsequent revision of these estimates,” the NSO said in its statement. It added that measures taken by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 has had an impact on economic activity as well as data collection.

“There have been disruptions in data flow from some source agencies leading to data coverage issues. The limitations in the datasets and the timelines have a bearing on the GDP estimates and its subsequent revisions,” it said, stating that estimates are likely to undergo sharp revisions.

The output of eight core sectors jumped by 56.1% in April mainly due to low base effect and uptick in production of natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity, official data released on Monday showed. The eight infrastructure sectors of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity had contracted by 37.9% in April 2020.

According to the commerce and industry ministry data, production of natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity jumped by 25%, 30.9%, 400%, 548.8% and 38.7% in April, as against (-) 19.9% (-), 24.2%, (-) 82.8%, (-) 85.2% and (-) 22.9% in April 2020, respectively. In March this year, the eight sectors had recorded a growth rate of 11.4%.

Fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was at 9.3% of GDP, lower than the 9.5% estimated by the Finance Ministry in the revised Budget estimates. Unveiling the revenue-expenditure data of the Union government for 2020-21, the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Monday said that the revenue deficit at the end of the fiscal was 7.42%.

For this financial year, the government had initially pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs 7.96 lakh crore or 3.5% of the GDP in the budget presented in February 2020. The government in the revised estimates in the Budget for 2021-22 forecast a higher fiscal deficit of 9.5% of the GDP or Rs 18,48,655 crore for the fiscal ended in March due to a rise in expenditure on account of the outbreak of COVID-19 and moderation in revenue during this fiscal year. Fiscal deficit had soared to a high of 4.6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019-20, mainly due to poor revenue realisation.

With inputs from PTI

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