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GDP to be lower at 6.5% in Fiscal Year 2017; rebound next fiscal: Economic Survey

India's economic growth has been pegged at 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal, down from 7.6 per cent recorded in the last financial year, but is expected to rebound in the range of 6.75-7.5 per cent in 2017-18.

The Economic Survey for 2016-17, tabled in the Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today, underlined the need for more reforms.

The Survey's GDP growth figure for the current fiscal is lower than 7.1 per cent the Central Statistics Office had forecast earlier this month.

The Survey lists some of the challenges that might impede India s progress. These include ambivalence about property rights and the private sector, deficiencies in state capacity, especially in delivering essential services and inefficient redistribution.

The Survey highlights difficulties in privatising public enterprises, even for firms where economists have made strong arguments that they should be in the private sector.

Pakistan: Donald Trump's travel ban will create host of hostilities, warns Bilawal Bhutto

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party chief, has warned the United States President Donald Trump and his administration against including his country in the list of travel ban nations, saying that such a move will create a "host of hostilities" between the two countries.

Mr Bilawal's remarks came as the White House is seeking to expand the list of seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens have been barred from entering the US.

"As far as the ban is concerned, I believe it only has detrimental effects on the countries it has included and if that is extended to Pakistan it will create a whole host of hostilities," Mr Bilawal told a Washington audience on Monday.

He was responding to a question on whether Pakistan can be included in a list of seven nations as per an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump last week.

Mr Bilawal said including Pakistan in such a list "would also be a very negative indicator that the United States is turning away from those very ideals that it stood for", adding that, "I hope that this is not the new normal." He said there was a lot of uncertainty and externally about what the future policies are going to be and he would like to hold on to the wait and see approach.

Government has failed in job creation: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the Modi government after it listed its achievements in the President's address, alleging that it has been a "complete failure" on job creation front.

"The main question in India today is creation of jobs for young people. It is a big issue today to provide jobs for youth in India," Rahul said outside Parliament after President Pranab Mukherjee's customary address on the first day of the Budget session of Parliament.

The Congress vice-president, who is actively campaigning in the election bound states, said, "Government has failed in this matter. Government is a complete failure in job creation.

That's my main point."

Relationship with India will only be stronger: White House

America's relationship with India will continue to grow stronger in the Trump Administration, a top White House official has said but remained mum over its stance on India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

"They had a great conversation the other day and the relationship between the two countries will continue to grow stronger in this country," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

He was responding to a question on a recent telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

However, Spicer did not respond to a question on expansion of the UN Security Council seat when asked about previous president Barack Obama's endorsement for India as a permanent member of the 15-member body.