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Monday, February 17, 2020

Expect ministers to attack Gita Gopinath: Chidambaram after IMF’s forecast

"IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath was one of the first to denounce demonetisation. I suppose we must prepare ourselves for an attack by government ministers on the IMF and Dr. Gita Gopinath," Chidambaram tweeted.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 22, 2020 3:07:30 pm
Gita Gopinath, Chidambaram on Gita Gopinath, IMF, IMF India's growth, Gita Gopinath on India's growth, Gita Gopinath IMF Congress leader P Chidambaram called IMF’s projections a “reality check.” (Express photo)

A day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed India’s growth forecast from 6.1 per cent to 4.8 per cent for 2019, Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram took a dig at the government and said it was likely that its ministers would go all out in attacking the IMF and its Chief Economist Gita Gopinath for their projection.

“IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath was one of the first to denounce demonetisation. I suppose we must prepare ourselves for an attack by government ministers on the IMF and Dr. Gita Gopinath,” Chidambaram tweeted.

Calling IMF’s projections a “reality check,” the former finance minister also added that the 4.8 per cent is “after some window dressing. “I will not be surprised if it goes even lower,” he added in his tweet.

Citing a sharp economic slowdown in India and other emerging markets, the IMF on Monday lowered growth estimate for the world economy to 2.9 per cent for 2019. For the current calendar year 2020, India saw a sharp 1.2 percentage point cut in its growth forecast to 5.8 per cent, the biggest downward revision for any emerging market, which pulled down global growth forecast.

“The downward revision primarily reflects negative surprises to economic activity in a few emerging market economies, notably India, which led to a reassessment of growth prospects over the next two years. In a few cases, this reassessment also reflects the impact of increased social unrest,” the IMF said.

India-born IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said growth in India slowed sharply owing to stress in the non-banking financial sector and weak rural income growth.

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