World Bank president Ajay Banga on Monday said amid global challenges, he is more optimistic about India and its economy now than he has been “in a long time”.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of the third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting here, the first-ever Indian-American to head the top global financial institution said the world economy is in a difficult place.
Banga (63) showered praises on India for its digital infrastructure, saying he is a “big fan” of such initiatives taken by the world’s fifth-largest economy.
“I am more optimistic about India, as a whole, economically, than I have been for a long time. The fact is that the world economy is in a difficult place. It has outperformed what everybody thought. But it does not mean that it won’t be more challenging. The IMF forecast and the World Bank forecast is that the world will get a little challenging over the next year or so,” he said at the Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre, where the G20 meeting is being held.
As per government data released in May 2023, India’s GDP growth beat all expectations with a 6.1 per cent expansion in the March quarter of the last fiscal that helped push the annual growth rate (in FY23) to 7.2 per cent.
“I said in the speech this morning (at G20 meet) that the forecast is not equal to destiny, we can change destiny. And that’s what you should think about,” said Mr Banga when asked about his views on the Indian economy.
Praising India for the steps taken in recent times to build digital infrastructure, he said applications which were built around that framework are making people’s lives easier today.
Mr Banga, who took over as president of the Washington-headquartered development lender in early June, noted that digitisation has allowed citizens to easily access multiple services online.
“You can’t just do digitisation of lending without digitising the infrastructure. What India has done over the last 15-20 years, it is digitising the infrastructure. That is enabling all the terrific applications to be built, which make it easier for people to access services online. So, I am a big fan of that,” he said.
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