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Be prepared for govt attack on IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath: Chidambaram

After the IMF lowered India's 2019-20 growth forecast to 4.8%, Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "We must prepare ourselves for an attack by government ministers on the IMF and (IMF Chief Economist) Dr Gita Gopinath."

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram feels government ministers could train their guns on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its India-born chief economist, Gita Gopinath, after the Fund announced reduced growth forecasts for India.

The IMF predicts India will grow at 4.8 per cent in 2019 and at 5.8 per cent in 2020. The second figure is the biggest markdown for any emerging market.

Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader, said he wouldn’t be surprised if India grew slower than 4.8 per cent in 2019-20.

“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,” Chidambaram said.

Gita Gopinath said the downgrade for India was responsible for the IMF trimming down global growth forecasts.

“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,” the IMF chief economist.

Asked about the extent to which the economic slowdown in India had impacted global forecasts, Gita Gopinath said it was “over 80 per cent”.

Chidambaram’s Congress colleague Kapil Sibal alluded to this this detail out in a tweet attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Pointing to ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, he said the duo were “a drag on Indian democracy”.

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