India needs 1.5% faster growth to sustain pay hikes: Jaitley

31 December 2015

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that India needs to grow by an additional 1-1.5 per cent for the government to bear the burden of wage increases and welfare measures.

Speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh in New Delhi, he said, ''Our country is growing at a good pace of 7.5 per cent at a time when the global economy is experiencing a slowdown, which is appreciable in itself; but we need to increase our growth by another 1-1.5 per cent.'' This would be possible when the government and the private sector worked to their potential, he added.

''We need to increase our economic activities as this will result in a rise in revenues, which then can help to reduce additional financial burdens,'' he said.

In the coming year, he said, the centre would have to bear a burden of Rs1.02 lakh crore on account of the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, besides the burden from the one rank one pension (OROP) for armed forces veterans.

India's Gross Domestic Product grew at 7.2 per cent in first half of 2015-16. The finance ministry's Mid Year Economic Analysis estimates GDP growth between 7 per cent and 7.5 per cent in the current financial year.

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