Newly minted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today tweeted to show her appreciation for the huge volume of feedback she has been receiving ahead of the full Union Budget presentation on July 5. "...Please keep them coming," she tweeted.
The World Bank has projected India's economy to grow at 7.5 per cent in the next three years, supported by robust investment and private consumption, though the global lender also made the same prediction in the previous forecast.
"Grateful for every thought/idea that's being shared by scholars, economists and enthusiasts through print, electronic, and on social media. I read many of them; also, my team carefully collates them for me. Value every bit. Thanks. Please keep them coming," Ms Sitharaman tweeted today as the powerful Monetary Policy Committee cut the policy rate by 25 basis points for the third time this year to 5.75 per cent - the lowest since July 2010. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point.
All six of the MPC members voted for a 25 basis points cut, and for the policy stance to be changed to "accommodative" from "neutral". According to a Reuters poll of 66 economists, after the latest policy rate cut, the MPC is now expected to keep it on hold at least until the end of next year.
The World Bank's report also came as a relief for India days after data from the Central Statistics Office showed that the country's economic growth slowed to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, pushing the country behind China.
The figures highlight the challenges Ms Sitharaman faces in her biggest government position, and raises the need for an urgent stimulus.
Ms Sitharaman, who was a Commerce Minister and briefly the junior finance minister in PM Modi's first term, got the Finance Ministry job replacing Arun Jaitley, who opted out of this government due to ill health.
There was also speculation that BJP chief Amit Shah would head to the Finance Ministry, but PM Modi instead made him the Home Minister.