India has overtaken France to become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, AFP reported quoting World Bank figures for 2017. India’s Gross Domestic Product was $2.597 trillion (Rs 178 lakh crore) at the end of last year against $2.582 trillion (Rs 177 lakh crore) for France.

The Indian economy rebounded strongly from July 2017, after a slowdown that lasted three quarters. The slowdown was the result of the government’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes in November 2016 and the hasty roll out of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1, 2017, the report added.

India’s per capita GDP is still a fraction of that of France. This is due to the difference between the populations of the two countries – India has 134 crore inhabitants, France just 6.7 crore.

India’s GDP grew 7.7% during the January-March quarter as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2017, according to government estimates released in May.

India has doubled its GDP in the past decade and is expected to power ahead as an important economic engine in Asia even as China slows down, AFP reported. According to the International Monetary Fund, India is projected to grow at 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019, compared to a global growth forecast of 3.9% for both years.

The world body has, however, advised the government to simplify and streamline the Goods and Service Tax in order to sustain its high growth rate. The other steps suggested by the International Monetary Fund include cleaning up the banking sector and introducing reforms in key markets such as labour and land.