Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is in the United States to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, predicted on Tuesday that India’s growth rate would be about 7% for this exercise.
Sitharaman said growth will be among the top priorities of the Narendra Modi government and attention will be paid to maintaining the momentum the Indian economy has gained following the Covid-19 pandemic.
His statement comes even as the IMF, in its latest projection, predicted India’s GDP growth of 6.8%, down from an 8.2% projection in January and an estimate of 7.4% in July. However, despite the slowdown, India would remain the fastest growing major economy.
The IMF said on Tuesday that global growth is expected to slow further next year, lowering its forecast as countries grapple with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, spiraling living costs and slowdowns. economic.
The global economy has suffered multiple blows, with the war in Ukraine pushing up food and energy prices in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, while soaring costs and rising interest rates threaten to reverberate around the world.
“I am aware that growth forecasts around the world are being revised downwards. We expect India’s growth rate to be around 7% for this fiscal year. More importantly, I am confident in India’s relative and absolute growth performance for the rest of the decade,” she told a rally in Washington.
Sitharaman, however, observed that the Indian economy is not exempt from the impact of the global economy. “No economy is,” she said.
“After the unprecedented shock of the pandemic came the conflict in Europe with its implications for energy, fertilizer and food prices. Now synchronized global monetary policy is tightening in its wake. So, naturally , growth projections have been revised down for many countries, including India. This triple shock has made growth and inflation a double-edged sword,” Sitharaman said.
After the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, food and energy prices rose sharply. India had to ensure that the rise in the cost of living did not lead to a drop in consumption through the erosion of purchasing power.
“We addressed these multiple and complex challenges through a variety of interventions. First, India has accelerated its vaccine production and vaccination. India has administered over 2 billion doses of domestically produced vaccines. Second, India’s digital infrastructure ensured the provision of targeted assistance. Third, in 2022, after the outbreak of conflict in Europe, we have ensured adequate availability of food and fuel in the domestic market, reduced import duties on edible oil and reduced excise duties on petrol and diesel. The central bank acted quickly to ensure that inflation did not spiral out of control and that the currency depreciation was neither fast enough nor large enough to cause a loss of confidence,” the minister said.
“India in talks with different countries to make Rupay acceptable”
Sitharaman said India was talking with different countries to make Rupay acceptable in their countries.
“Not only that, UPI (Unified Payments Interface), BHIM App and NCPI (National Payments Corporation of India) are all now functioning in such a way that their systems in their respective country, however, robust or not can talk to our system and the interoperability itself will enhance Indian expertise in these countries,” she said.
(With PTI and ANI entries)