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India's economy expected to grow 7.2 percent in 2017: minister
Last Updated: 2017-04-05 09:56 | Xinhua
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The Indian economy was expected to grow 7.2 percent in 2017, India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Saturday.

"As per IMF's assessment in January 2017, India's growth in 2016 would be 6.6 percent and is projected to grow at 7.2 percent and 7.7 percent in 2017 and 2018," Jaitley said while addressing the opening ceremony of the second annual meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) in New Delhi.

The NDB was previously referred to as BRICS Development Bank. It is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS countries.

Jaitley described NDB as a feather in the cap of BRICS.

"It is now more than a decade since the September 2006 meeting of foreign ministers of Brazil, China, Russia and India in New York, where the foundations of BRICS were laid. The BRICS has grown and evolved in many ways since then and the NDB is a feather in its cap," Jaitley said.

The minister said India needs 646 billion U.S. dollars over the next few years to finance infrastructure development.

"India has a huge unmet need for investment in infrastructure, estimated to the tune of about 646 billion U. S. dollars over the next five years. Seventy percent of this will be required in the power, roads and urban infrastructure sectors," Jaitley said.

Jaitley said they have successfully implemented several measures to reinforce the Indian economy, including merger of railway budget with the general budget and the passage of the landmark Goods and Service Tax bill.

The Indian government will roll out the new sales tax from July 1, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.

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