Chidambaram warns Modi govt's ministers will attack Gita Gopinath after IMF cuts growth forecast

Chidamabaram says IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath was one of the first to denounce demonetisation; we must prepare ourselves for an attack by government ministers on the IMF and Dr Gita Gopinath, he adds

Congress leader P Chidambaram Congress leader P Chidambaram

In his first reaction after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered India's economic growth estimate for the current financial year to 4.8 per cent, former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram has slammed the Modi government on the issue of economic growth and termed it "reality check from IMF". He said the latest forecast could also be after some "window dressing" and that the actual numbers could be even lower.

"Even the 4.8 per cent (growth) is after some window dressing. I will not be surprised if it goes even lower," he tweeted. He also said 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," he added.

The chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Gita Gopinath, on the sidelines of 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had said that India was primarily responsible for the downgrade in global growth.

While speaking to India Today's Rahul Kanwal, she said: "We have projected global growth at 2.9 per cent for 2019 and 3.3 per cent for 2020 which is 0.1 percentage point lower than the October estimates. The vast majority of it comes from our downgrade for India which was quite significant for both years."

Chidambaram, who has been extremely vocal against Modi government's policies on the economic front, had recently criticised Union minister Piyush Goyal for his "no favour" remarks against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, saying the commerce minister should snub more people as it could help India achieve the $5 trillion economy target.

After the world's richest man Jeff Bezos announced fresh $1 billion investment to help bring small and medium businesses online in India, Goyal during an event had said: "They (Amazon) may have put in a billion dollars but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then jolly well will have to finance that billion-dollar. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars."

Saying that snubbing Bezos "makes for a great headline in the world's media", Chidambaram in a satirical way, advised Goyal to do it more often. Chidambaram said Goyal first snubbed Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee and now Bezos. And now, he said, Goyal should "snub (Google CEO) Sundar Pichai and (Microsoft CEO) Satya Nadella" in order to make India a $5 trillion dollar economy.

Meanwhile, as per the first advance estimates of the national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), India's GDP growth may fall to an 11-year low of 5 per cent in the current fiscal, mainly due to poor showing by manufacturing and construction sectors. According to back series GDP data released by the government in November 2018, the previous low in economic growth was recorded at 3.1 per cent in 2008-09.

Edited by Manoj Sharma

Also read: Snub more people to make India $5 trillion economy: Chidambaram on Piyush Goyal's 'no favour' jibe at Jeff Bezos