What the IMF had to say about India in 2014 and then in 2018: Arun Jaitley
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that it was only with NDA coming to power in 2014 that the economy had undergone a transformational change, referring to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on India,
In postings over both Twitter and Facebook, Jaitley, who resumed his duties earlier this week, said that a comparison of the data released in 2014 and 2018 proved that high inflation, fiscal deficit, and current account deficit, besides a standstill in the infrastructure and power sectors, as well as in allocation of natural resources, were some of the failures of the previous UPA government.
“We have come a long way. The last four years have seen a series of reforms, both legislative and otherwise, which have been carried on by the Government. The system has been substantially cleaned up and made more transparent,” Jaitley posted on Facebook.
“Decisiveness has led to easier decision making and made the economy stand out before several other countries. I would urge all to read these two reports (IMF), the copy of which are now publically available,” he said.
“The tightening of global liquidity has increased external pressures and heightened the focus on India’s macroeconomic imbalances (high inflation, large current account and fiscal deficits) and structural weaknesses (particularly supply bottlenecks in infrastructure, power and mining),” The Finance Minister said regarding the report’s references to the situation in 2014.
“Growth is expected to slow to 4.6 per cent this fiscal year, the lowest level in a decade, reflecting global developments and domestic supply constraints. Headline CPI inflation is expected to remain near double digits for the remainder of the fiscal year. The current account deficit is narrowing, driven by a significant improvement in exports, robust remittances flows, and a rapid diminution of gold imports.
“Nonetheless, India has very little room to adopt countercyclical policies, constrained by persistently-high inflation, and sizeable fiscal and external imbalances. Spillovers from renewed external pressures interacting with domestic vulnerabilities are the principal risks,” he said referring to the situation in 2018.
“Stability-oriented macroeconomic policies and progress on structural reforms continue to bear fruit. Following disruptions related to the November 2016 currency exchange initiative and the July 2017 goods and service tax (GST) rollout, growth slowed to 6.7 per cent in FY 2017/18, but a recovery is under way led by an investment pickup”, he added.