Despite IMF projections, India still among fastest growing economies: Nirmala Sitharaman

The minister is in Washington to attend the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

New Delhi, October 18:

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said India is still among the fastest growing economies despite IMF projections.

The IMF on Tuesday slashed India’s growth projection to 6.1% for the current fiscal from its July forecast of 7%, urging the country to opt for further monetary policy easing and broad-based structural reforms to reverse a cyclical demand slowdown

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a reduced growth rate for India, but the country’s economy is “still growing as the fastest”, she told a group of Indian reporters on Thursday.

The minister is in Washington to attend the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

The IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday, projected the country’s growth rate at 6.1 per cent for 2019 and noted that the Indian economy is expected to pick up at 7 per cent in 2020.

“In India, growth softened in 2019 as corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty, together with concerns about the health of the non-bank financial sector, weighed on demand,” said the IMF in its biannual World Economic Outlook.

With all that being said, “the point cannot be missed” that India is still “growing the fastest” in the given global scenario, Sitharaman observed.

Sitharaman said she is “certainly not risking a comparison” with China, even though the two countries growth rates have been projected at 6.1 per cent in a latest IMF report. “The IMF (in its latest projections) reduces the growth (rate) for all the global economies. It reduces the growth for India too. But even otherwise, even with that India is still growing as the fastest growing economy,” she said.

“I wish it can be more. I wish it can grow faster. I’ll make every effort to make it grow faster. But the fact remains that it is still growing faster. “It’s one of the fastest growing economies too. But that’s not going to make me complacent,” she said.

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said though India has worked on the fundamentals but there are problems that need to be addressed.

“India has worked on the fundamentals (of its economy), but there are problems to be addressed. In the financial sector, especially non-banking institutions, there are steps taken now to consolidate banks. They ought to help resolve some of these issues,” Kristalina Georgieva told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

 

 

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