Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the first quarter GDP growth in the current fiscal should be good as the quarter went well. She also mentioned that green shoots in the private capital expenditure are palpable as public investment by the government over the last couple of years is crowding in private investments.

“India is the fastest growing economy. Domestic investment is also robust. In another few days, you are going to get the GDP numbers of the Q1, FY24. Everybody feels that the first quarter did go on well so the numbers should be good,” Sitharaman said while addressing the session on key priorities for sustained global economic recovery, at the B20 Summit in New Delhi.  

Sitharaman mentioned that reforms undertaken by the Modi government in the last nine years have put India on the path to sustainable growth. “India has showcased an accelerated pace of economic reforms in the last nine years. Reforms had been sporadic before that. It is not that it did not happen. Reforms took place during the Covid period, as we thought it was an opportunity rather than a challenge,” she said.  

“Wide ranging domain has been covered, whether it is fiscal, digital, physical infrastructure or social inclusion. All these have positioned India on a higher and sustainable growth path,” she added.

Sitharaman also pointed out the impact of the public capital expenditure that the government had been doing in the wake of the pandemic. “Budget had increased the capital outlay by 33 percent in 2023-24. The capital expenditure in total expenditure has gone up from 12.3% in FY18 to 22.4% in FY24. Several measures have been implemented by the government incentivising states to increase capital spending. States’ capital expenditure has increased by 74.3% year-on-year in the Q1, FY24. Centre’s capital expenditure has gone up 59.1% in the same quarter,” Sitharaman said.

“Enhanced capital expenditure by the government is now crowding in private investments. Green shoots of private capital expenditure now being palpably felt by most of the observers,” She added.  

Sitharaman mentioned that sustaining economic growth is becoming the main question for the economies not only because of the individual special situation, but also because of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. “The impact has affected us in different ways,” she said. 

She said war, food security issues, energy security issues, transition to green economy and climate change all are aggravating the concerns on the sustained global economic recovery at a time when it actually was emanating out of the Covid. 

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