India should focus on structural reforms, clean-up of banks: IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath

Gopinath, 48, who is travelling to India this week, rooted for government policies focusing on managing a slowdown in domestic demand

FPJ BureauUpdated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 08:17 AM IST
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Washington: With economic growth slowing to a six-year low, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath says the government should undertake structural reforms such as bank clean-up and labour reforms to address the slowdown in domestic demand.

Gopinath, 48, who is travelling to India this week, rooted for government policies focusing on managing a slowdown in domestic demand, and on boosting productivity growth and supporting employment creation in the medium term.

"Given the cyclical position and the structural challenges of the Indian economy at this point, we recommend that policies focus on managing the slowdown in domestic demand, and on boosting productivity growth and supporting employment creation in the medium term," she said.

Recommending a series of key policy priorities for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, she said, "Politically, the time -- early in the government's second term -- is right for a structural reform push."

GDP growth slowed for the sixth consecutive quarter in the July-September quarter to 4.5% as manufacturing slumped on low domestic consumption. She said the policy priorities of the government should also include a credible fiscal consolidation path that is more ambitious than currently envisaged by the government.

"This is needed to reduce the high level of debt and reduce crowding out which would free up financial resources for private investment. This should be driven by subsidy-spending rationalisation and tax-base enhancing measures," Gopinath said.

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