Global Economy

India fastest-growing economy; Q2 growth was highest in the world: FM Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that India’s second-quarter growth is the highest in the world, and the country continues to maintain its momentum as the fastest-growing economy.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, Sitharaman asserted that economic activity has been good across sectors.

“India’s second quarter growth is the highest in the world as India continues to be the fastest-growing economy. The third and fourth largest economies (Japan and Germany) have contracted as well as emerging economies. In comparison, India’s over 7 per cent growth is significant,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She was replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the economic situation in the country, which was held over three days with the participation of a large number of members.

Sitharaman also pointed out that India is the second-most sought-after manufacturing destination in the world.

“The manufacturing sector has contributed significantly to economy on the back of various measures like PLI schemes,” she added.She added that all the sectors of the country are growing due to the policies of the central government.”All sectors are growing significantly. Because of the Make in India programme and PM Modi’s schemes, the manufacturing sector is also significantly contributing to the economy. The manufacturing sector is contributing 13.9 per cent to the economy. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) in November was 56. It is in the expansionary territory, so sustained growth is indicative of the growth,” she said, adding that the developed economies are showing a contractionary manufacturing PMI, in comparison.

She further said that in a big indicator of economic growth, direct tax collection grew 21.82 per cent this year and the monthly GST collections were stabilised at Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

She also said that India’s merchandise export has increased by 6.21 per cent to $ 33.57 billion in October.

Dismissing assertions on the employment front, Sitharaman said the unemployment rate has declined to 10 per cent from 17.8 per cent in 2017-18.

She further said 13.5 crore people have come out of ‘multi-dimensional’ poverty in the last five years.

Several Opposition members also raised concern over the rising prices in the country.

To this, the minister replied that the government has taken “quite a few” measures to check inflation.

The retail inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) had touched a high of 7.8 per cent in April 2022. However, now it has been close to the Reserve Bank’s target of 4 per cent.