India forecasts 11pc growth for 2021-22

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India on Friday forecast its pandemic-stricken economy would grow by 11 per cent in the 2021-22 financial year, after contracting by 7.7 per cent this year.

The prediction, by the government’s annual economic survey, backs an International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that India will grow 11.5 per cent in the next financial year.

The survey, released ahead of the government announcing its annual spending plans tomorrow, said there would be a “V-shaped” recovery after the biggest economic decline in more than four decades.

“After experiencing a sharp contraction of 23.09 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, India is expected to be the fastest-growing economy in the next two years,” said the government’s Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

The survey compared India’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic to the Indian cricket team’s Test win in Australia this month.

A shopkeeper waits for customers at a market in Lucknow, India. PHOTO: AP

“Their resilience to rebound from 36 all out to winning the Test series was a V-shaped performance indeed!”, it said.

The country of 1.3 billion people has been the world’s second worst-hit country by the coronavirus, with 10.5 million infections.

But reported new cases have fallen dramatically in recent weeks, and authorities hope economic demand will be boosted by a major vaccination drive that started this month.

In presenting the annual budget today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has to juggle between limited resources and a pressing need for social and infrastructure spending.

The survey highlighted recent efforts to cut down on regulation and encourage investment in the agriculture and defence sectors.

The government has faced violent unrest over its efforts to deregulate agricultural markets.