With 8.7% GDP expansion, India continues to remain the fastest-growing economy in the world in the fiscal 2021-22 the despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter of the year due to the omicron variant of COVID-19, industry chamber ASSOCHAM said today.
“Given the focused way India handled the Omicron variant with the help of an aggressive vaccination programme and pragmatic policy interventions such as the extension of the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, our economy is looking at a continued and strong rebound in the 7-8% growth range in the current financial year,” said ASSOCHAM President Mr. Sumant Sinha.
The fourth quarter slowdown in the previous fiscal is attributable to continued global supply chain disruptions due to lockdowns in some major economies, as well as due to the outbreak of the Ukraine-Russia war.
“No doubt, the resultant global inflation has made the current situation challenging but thanks to well-coordinated measures by the Reserve Bank of India and the government, price rises are being contained in the best possible manner,” Sinha said.
Mr. Sinha added that inflation in India is still lower than many developed countries, which have seen breaches of five-decade-old records in price rises. India has cushioned itself against rampant inflation with its abundant food security, along with large foreign exchange reserves plus adept policymaking.
The chamber Secretary General Mr Deepak Sood said with monsoon expected to be normal for another year, the Indian economy should get a demand push particularly in the rural areas leaving a big positive cascade for several sectors such as automobile, chemical & fertilizer, textile and FMCG.
Me Sood said full reopening of the economy is also generating a good amount of pent-up demand amongst many service sectors such as hospitality, education, transport etc. The supply chain issues have also started abating with gradual lifting of lockdown in some of the major economies.