Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said India enjoys an investment grade rating and she does not see a rating downgrade because of higher spending. Replying to a debate on Finance Bill 2021 in the Rajya Sabha, she cited low inflation, higher GDP growth, record foreign investment and lower fiscal deficit to defend her government”s handling of the economy.
She attacked the Congress-led UPA government for leaving a “mess” and mismanaging the economy which the Modi administration set right.
The measures taken in response to the 2008 global financial crisis by the UPA led to high inflation and ”taper tantrums”, she said.
Sitharaman further said average GDP growth between 2014 to 2019 was 7.5 per cent as against 6.7 per cent during 2009 to 2014 under UPA.
Similarly, consumer price inflation was 10.3 per cent under five years of UPA rule, while during 2014-19 it was 4.8 per cent.
Fiscal deficit too has been contained at 3.65 per cent of the GDP during 2014-19 as compared to 5.3 per cent in the previous five years, she said, adding current account deficit has also improved from (-)3.34 per cent to (-)1.43 per cent.
Foreign exchange reserves have grown from USD 303 billion in 2014 to USD 411.9 billion, she said, adding NPAs or bad debt declined to Rs 8.99 lakh crore as of March 2020.