Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said the fund is set to significantly downgrade its growth estimates for the Indian economy in the World Economic Outlook. afp

IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

India's government must take steps quickly to reverse the economic slowdown of an economy that has been one of the engines of global growth, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

Declining consumption and investment, and falling tax revenue, have combined with other factors to put the brakes on one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the IMF said in its annual review.

After lifting millions out of poverty “India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown,” Ranil Salgado, of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department, told reporters.

“Addressing the current downturn and returning India to a high growth path requires urgent policy actions.”

However, the government has limited space to boost spending to support growth, especially given high debt levels and interest payments, the fund warned

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath last week said India’s slowdown had “surprised to the downside,” and said the fund is set to significantly downgrade its growth estimates for the Indian economy in the World Economic Outlook which will be released next month.

The IMF in October slashed its forecast for 2019 by nearly a full point to 6.1 per cent, while cutting the outlook for 2020 to 7.0 per cent.

Salgado said India’s central bank has “room to cut the policy rate further, especially if the economic slowdown continues.”

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the key lending rate five times this year to a nine-year low, but at its last meeting earlier this month defied expectations by keeping policy unchanged.

The central bank slashed its annual growth forecast to 5 per cent from 6.1 per cent, as consumer demand and manufacturing activity contracts.

India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than six years in the July-September period, down to 4.5 per cent from 7.0 per cent a year ago, according to government data.

Salgado said “the government needs to reinvigorate the reform agenda,” including restoring the health of the financial sector in order to “enhance its ability to provide credit to the economy.”

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.