New year has started on a challenging note: Jaitley

Kolkata, Jan 8 (IANS) Stating that 2016 has started on a challenging note for the world, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said economic volatility manifested in the oil price collapse and the Chinese crisis have become the norm.

“The new year 2016 has started for the world as a whole on a very challenging note. I have been repeatedly saying that there was a time and period in the past where challenges and crisis used to emerge occasionally… once in a decade.

“But with the global economy so critically integrated, volatility is the new rule, it’s the new norm. We have seen in last few days price of oil collapsed. We have seen the currency crisis currently on in china. And obviously the Global slowdown,” Jaitley said addressing the inaugural session of the Bengal Global Business Summit here.

He also referred to the World Bank on Thursday downgrading global growth rate at 2.9 percent in 2016.

Turning to the national scenario, he said there were still many challenges.

The minister said though the service sector has significantly improved and remained more or less consistent, now green shoots were visible in the manufacturing sector, which after some some period of slowdown is now picking up.

However, Jaitley said back to back less than normal monsoon has brought down the agricultural growth rate.

“But we have had two continuous less than normal monsoons, which pulled down the agricultural growth rate, which in fact impacted purchasing power in the rural area,” he added.

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