Indian economy experienced abrupt slowdown in 2019, but..: IMF MD
February 01, 2020  09:45
The Indian economy experienced some abrupt slowdown in 2019 due to turbulence in non-banking financial institutions and major reform measures such as goods and services tax and demonetisation, but it is not in a recession, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has said.
"The Indian economy indeed has experienced an abrupt slowdown in 2019. We had to revise our growth projections, downwards to four percent for last year. We are expecting 5.8 per cent (growth rate) in 2020 and then an upward trajectory to 6.5 percent in 2021," Georgieva told a group of foreign journalists in Washington D.C. on Friday.
"It appears that the main reason for this slowdown was the non-banking financial institutions experiencing a turbulence," she said on the eve of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the annual budget in Parliament on Saturday.
She said India had undertaken some important reforms that over the longer term would be beneficial for the country, but they do have some short-term impact.
"For example, coming with the unified tax system, and the demonetisation that took place. These are steps that over time are beneficial, but of course they might, might be somewhat disruptive over short term," Georgieva said in response to a question.
The IMF managing director said that there is not a lot of fiscal space in India. "But we also recognise that the policies of the government on that side, on the fiscal side have been prudent. We will see how the reading of the budget, the submission of the budget goes, tomorrow," she said.
In the medium-term, she said, the IMF remains optimistic about India. "This is why we see that upswing potential for the growth in the country," she said.
Georgieva said that the current economic slowdown cannot be described as a recession. "No.... You're far from that. But it is a significant slowdown, not the recession," she said. -- PTI
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