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

PTI

Washington: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interacts with global investors at the headquarters of International Monetary Fund, in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Washington: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interacts with global investors at the headquarters of International Monetary Fund, in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

India remains among the fastest growing economies of the world and efforts are being made to make it grow faster, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

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 here to attend the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

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.

As against India’s real growth rate of 6.8 per cent in 2018, 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.

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

“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.

Observing that several things about the economy are sentiment driven, the Union finance minister said so obviously the narrative is “it’s not growing as much as it used to grow earlier”.

“It’s not eight. It’s not seven. I it’s come down to six and so on. Yes, all these are very important. But I don’t want to underestimate the potential that India is showing even in this adverse circumstance,” Sitharaman said.

To a question, Sitharaman said at this stage she is “not looking at how long”, but expecting if she is looking at green shoots.

She said at this stage, it is “my duty to hear every sector and respond as much as they would want us to respond from the government side”.

“So, my business is now just to go on listening and making sure that the grievances or their demands are addressed, Sitharaman said.

(PTI)