Be ready for attack on IMF: Chidambaram on growth forecast

Calling the IMF figure a reality check, the former finance minister said its chief economist Gita Gopinath was one of the first to denounce demonetisation

Congress, lockdown, Modi
Chidambaram has been a staunch critic of the measures taken by the central government in handling the economic losses caused due to the COVID-19 lockdown and the migrant crisis ailing the country. Photo: PTI

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday (January 21) predicted an imminent attack on International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its chief economist Gita Gopinath by the Centre, after the international economic body lowered India’s economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent.

In a series of tweets in English and Hindi, the former finance minister alleged that the growth figure of 4.8 per cent given by IMF is after some “window dressing” and he won’t be surprised if it goes even lower.

Also read: IMF lowers global growth forecasts largely over ‘slowdown’ in India

“Reality check from IMF. Growth in 2019-20 will be BELOW 5 per cent at 4.8 per cent,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“Even the 4.8 per cent is after some window dressing. I will not be surprised if it goes even lower,” he said.

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

Besides slashing down India’s economic growth estimate for the current fiscal, the IMF listed country’s much lower-than-expected GDP numbers as the single biggest drag on its global growth forecast for two years.

In an interview with NDTV, Gopinath said, the country needs a lot of investment at this juncture and it was important to encourage it.

Also read: Indian economy expected to grow at 11-year low of 5% in 2019-20

In October, the IMF had pegged India economic growth at 6.1 per cent for 2019. Listing decline in rural demand growth and an overall credit sluggishness for lowering of India forecasts, Gopinath, however, had said the growth momentum should improve next year due to factors like positive impact of corporate tax rate reduction.

(With inputs from agencies)