Former NITI Aayog vice chairperson Rajiv Kumar said that even though global economy might be headed towards recession, India will continue to grow at 6-7% in the 2023-’24 fiscal year, reported PTI.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund had cut its projection for India’s economic growth for 2022-’23 to 6.8% from July’s forecast of 7.4%. The financial institution had cited Russia-Ukraine conflict and inflation as the reasons behinds its revision.

Notably, India’s retail inflation dropped to a three-month low of 6.77% in October, government data released on November 14 showed. Meanwhile, the country’s wholesale inflation rate declined to 8.39% in October from 10.7% in September.

Kumar told PTI on Sunday that the country’s retail inflation, an indicator of price rise, is most likely to stay in the range of 6 to 7% for some more time.

“After that, my estimate is that it should begin to peak and then come down,” Kumar told the news agency. He added that his estimate also depends on global oil prices as it can continue to rise because of the continued conflict in Ukraine.

Data by the commerce ministry on Tuesday showed that India’s merchandise exports fell 17% to $29.78 billion (approximately Rs 2.4 lakh crore) in October from $35.45 billion (Rs 2.8 lakh crore) in the previous month, while imports declined to $56.69 billion (Rs 4.5 lakh crore) from $61.16 billion (Rs 4.9 lakh crore) in the same period.

The merchandise trade deficit in October increased to $26.91 billion (Rs 2.1 lakh crore) from $25.71 (Rs 2 lakh crore) billion in the previous month.

Kumar said with the negative growth of exports in October, it is clear that the country needs a real policy focus on this area on how to expand its exports of both goods and services, reported PTI.

“We need to now formulate state-specific export promotion policies,” Kumar told the news agency. “Because to have one single export promotion policy for the whole country does not make sense.”

The former NITI Aayog vice chairperson also said that the weakening Indian rupee does not affect the citizens since many do not consume a lot of imported goods or services.

“The rupee, which is near its real value, is much better for the economy than the appreciated rupee and depreciated rupee does not pose many downside risks,” Kumar told PTI.

The rupee had depreciated six paise to close at 81.74 against the US dollar on Friday.

Kumar said that the decision by some states to switch to the old pension scheme is a “backward step.”

In May, two Congress-ruled states – Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – had decided to implement the old pension scheme, and the party also promised to restore it in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh if elected to power. In Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party government has also said that it will restore the old pension scheme.

In the old pension scheme, employees get 50% of their last drawn basic pay plus dearness allowance on retirement, according to Mint. Under this system, employees do not have to contribute to their pensions.

Under the new pension scheme, individual savings are pooled into funds during the period of employment. Individuals can choose from a range of schemes promoted either by public sector banks or private companies.

“I think the Indian economy, the Indian working class, Indian middle class is maturing and can handle their own pension funds and take advantage of the new pension scheme, which offers much more choices than the old pension scheme,” Kumar told PTI.