New Delhi: India will be able to pull off a 7 percent plus growth rate next fiscal as the Budget for 2017-18 has come up with several measures to provide a fillip to various sectors, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said.
"Our sense is that the kind of momentum the Budget has given in various sectors, we will be able to reach a growth of 7 percent plus in the next year," Das told reporters.
"Obviously now, as far as the government is concerned, the agenda for 2017-18 have been very clearly spelt out in the Budget speech of the finance minister. And the government's focus is now on implementing all the Budget announcements," he added.
The secretary's statement comes hours after RBI governor Urjit Patel announced a cut in the growth forecast to 6.9 percent for the current fiscal, from 7.1 percent estimated earlier, even as he said the economy will bounce back to 7.4 percent next fiscal.
In its previous policy review in December, the central bank had lowered the GDP growth forecast to 7.1 percent from 7.6 percent.
On RBI's monetary policy, Das said, "The monetary policy committee has unanimously recommended retention of the current rates of interest."
Das hoped that banks will step up lending with focus on SMEs, housing and individual loans.
"One would now expect the banks to step up their lending to various sectors of the economy and also focus on individual loans, i.e., housing loans, consumption loans as well as meeting the requirements of SMEs, other corporates and other business entities," he said.
"These are the kinds of things which will give momentum to growth and the expectation that the finance minister has also projected in the Budget that the growth should revive."
The economic affairs secretary noted that after the exchange of old notes, banks have already started reducing the rates, which have been reduced "considerably".
In the Budget also, finance minister Arun Jaitley has announced several measures to give a boost to the housing sector in general and affordable housing in particular.