Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday claimed that India’s economy will grow by 7.4% in the financial year 2022-’23 and at the same rate in the next fiscal year, PTI reported.

The finance minister said that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have projected India’s growth rate to be the fastest among all countries in the next two financial years. These estimates, Sitharaman said, were in sync with that of the Reserve Bank of India.

The finance minister was speaking at an event on the banking sector organised by The Financial Express.


Last month, the International Monetary Fund had slashed India’s economic growth forecast for 2022-’23 to 7.4% from its April estimate of 8.2%. It cited vulnerability of the Indian economy to external shocks and rapid monetary policy tightening as reasons behind the change in its forecast.

However, the financial institution had cut India’s growth forecast for the next fiscal year, 2023-’24, by 0.8 percentage points to 6.1%.

“The global situation continues to be challenging and it is not the right time to throw caution to the winds as yet,” Sitharaman said on Friday, PTI reported. “The export sector will face difficulties as the global growth slows down, and the government will work with such entities to face the headwinds.”

She also spoke on the ongoing debate on whether social welfare schemes amount to freebies announced by political parties to lure voters.

The Supreme Court is hearing a petition seeking restrictions on political parties from promising certain social welfare benefits during poll campaigning.

“If a promise is made to people at the time of elections, a party should make a provision in the budget for the fulfilment,” Sitharaman said on Friday. “Promise of a freebie cannot be burdened on someone else.”