India will grow at 7-8% next year, Rajan’s views will change about economy: Shekhawat

NEW DELHI, Dec 16: BJP leaders led by Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat on Friday cited the views of global institutions that Indian economy will have a high growth rate of over 7 per cent as they rebutted former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s claim that it will be lucky to have a growth rate of 5 per cent.

Shekhawat said Rajan will soon come to change his views on the Indian economy. Countering Rajan’s assessment, he said all major institutions, including the World Bank, have predicted that the country’s growth rate next year will be between 7 and 8 per cent.

Rajan had on Wednesday joined Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra.’

During an interaction during the Yatra, Rajan had said the next year will be difficult for the Indian economy, which is going to be hit by the economic downturn worldover.

Indian interest rates have also gone up, but exports have been slowing. India’s inflation problem is also going to be negative for growth.

The country would be lucky if it grows at 5 per cent next year, Rajan had said in his assessment of the country.

Shekhawat in his rebuttal to Rajan said only Rajan can explain the reason behind his pessimist view of the Indian economy for 2023.

“All major institutions from RBI to World Bank are saying that India’s growth rate next year will be between 7 to 8 per cent.

“After that if an individual says something then only he can explain the basis of his assessment. This can be his own views,” Shekhawat told reporters here.

He said Rajan had once predicted that MUDRA scheme will end up contributing to maximum NPAs.

“I want to recall one thing. When Prime Minister Narendra Modiji had announced the MUDRA scheme for self-employment and gave a helping hand to small entrepreneurs, Raghuram Rajan had predicted that maximum NPAs would be in MUDRA scheme and it would collapse.

“I think today he should reconsider his views on the scheme and similarly he will also change his views about the Indian economy in the next three-four years,” the minister told reporters here.

Talking to reporters, Shekhawat listed a number of measures and policy initiatives taken by the Modi government to boost manufacturing and exports in the country.

Citing the latest export data, Shekhawat said India’s trade exhibited an impressive performance with overall export (Merchandise and Services combined) of $58.22 billion in November 2022.

The exports exhibited a positive growth of 10.97 per cent over the same period last year, he said.

“In last eight years of Make in India, annual FDI doubled to USD 83 billion,” he added.

On the question of trade deficit with China, Shekhawat said, “The country is importing raw materials and components from China and by doing value addition exporting goods to other countries. So the deficit with China should not be seen in isolation. It should be seen with the overall import-export bouquet. We are exporting more today.”

BJP spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP Aparajita Sarangi said the government does not believe in any myopic vision, adhocism, shortcuts or quickfix solutions to chronic issues.

“In manufacturing and exports sector, PM Modi-led government is focused on long term growth. And that’s why India is a Bright Spot today. With heart within and God overhead, we are marching on,” she said.

Sharing data, she said the export of agriculture and processed food products has risen by 25 per cent to USD 13.8 billion in April-September 2022 compared to the corresponding figure last year.

Coffee export has doubled in April-September 2022 compared to what it was in the corresponding period in 2013-14 when the UPA was in power, she said. (PTI)