New Delhi: leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday said that an attack on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its Chief Economist Gita Gopinath by government ministers was imminent following the organisation’s downward revision of the Indian economy’s growth.
Dr Gopinath also said that India needs a lot of investment and it is important to encourage it, in reference to the government’s cold-shoulder to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during his visit last week.
“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,” Mr Chidambaram tweeted.
The IMF on Monday slashed India’s growth forecast to 4.8 per cent, a cut of 1.3 per cent in just three months. In its World Economic Outlook released in Davos, Switzerland, the IMF has said, “Domestic demand has slowed more sharply than expected amid stress in the nonbank financial sector and a decline in credit growth.”
P Chidambaram said the revision was “window dressing” and was likely to go even lower.
Under investigation in corruption and money laundering cases that he has called politically motivated, Mr Chidambaram has been one of the most vocal critics of the government in the opposition, maintaining a biting Twitter feed even as he spent over three months in prison.
He has frequently taken on the government for its handling of the economy, currently undergoing one of its worst slowdowns. Earlier this month, the government forecast 5 per cent growth for the current financial year, the slowest pace in 11 years, which will likely prompt Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to opt for extra fiscal stimulus when she presents the annual budget next month.
Dr Gopinath also said that the IMF will keep an eye on the widespread protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens and factor it in the next assessment in April.
The slowdown in India is expected to have an effect on the growth across the world and the iMF has pushed down its global forecast by 0.1 per cent, she added.