New Delhi: India is likely to grow at close to 8 percent this year. That’s the word coming in from Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Das said the country clocked a growth rate of 7.6 percent last year despite facing back-to-back droughts. With this year’s above average monsoon, he expects agricultural production to be better than previous two-years’, which in turn should provide a boost to India’s GDP.
"Agriculture production is expected to be much better than previous two years and definitely agriculture will contribute significantly to the GDP," Das said on the sideline of a conference on 'International Arbitration in BRICS: Challenges, Opportunities and Road ahead'.
Besides, he said, the Budget has been well received by all sectors of the economy. "Large number of structural reforms have been undertaken by the government in the last two year. The impact of that is beginning to be felt. All these things put together, we are hoping to better our growth of last year and perhaps get closer to 8%," he said.
On international arbitration, Das said structural bias in favour of developed nations must end and developing nations should build capacity instead of playing victim. Forum shopping should end, he said, adding that India is already moving towards ending treaty shopping in investments.
Citing the example of price control with regard to life saving drugs, he said that pursuit of global business order should be balanced with public policy for overwhelming public good. He stressed on the need for striking an optimal balance between public good and private commercial requirements in the context of investment agreements.
For dispute settlement, he said the first recourse should be to reach out to local courts and if they fail to deliver within five years, arbitration should be resorted to. There is a need for early disposal of frivolous claims, he added.