Thursday, December 9, 2021

IMF commends India’s swift & substantial response to Covid-19 pandemic

International Monetary Fund IMF has commended India’s swift and substantial response to pandemic and noted that there is the possibility of a faster than expected recovery.

The IMF has projected India’s economic growth at 9.5 per cent in FY2021-22 and 8.5 per cent in 2022-23. Headline inflation is projected at 5.6 per cent in 2021-22, amid elevated price pressures.

In its “Article IV” consultations report, IMF has further said that a persistent negative impact of Covid-19 on investment and other growth drivers could prolong the economic recovery.

The report, however, sounded a note of caution saying that the economic outlook remains  clouded due to pandemic related uncertainties, contributing to both downside and upside risks.

On the Indian government’s handling of the pandemic, the multilateral agency said it was swift and substantial. The country’s pandemic response had included fiscal support, including scaled-up support to vulnerable groups, monetary policy easing, liquidity

provision, and accommodative financial sector and regulatory policies. Despite the pandemic, the authorities have continued to introduce structural reforms, including labour reforms and a privatisation plan, the report said.

It further said that while India benefits from favourable demographics, disruption to access to education and training due to the pandemic could weigh on improvements in human capital.

At the same time, the recovery could also be faster than expected, it said adding that faster vaccination and better therapeutics could help contain the spread and limit the impact of the pandemic.

In addition, successful implementation of the announced wide-ranging structural reforms could increase India’s growth potential, the IMF noted.

Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year.

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