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Do not see India's rating downgrade: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

**VIDEO GRAB** New Delhi: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Rajya Sabha, during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (RSTV/PTI Photo) (PTI03_24_2021_000097A) (PTI)Premium
**VIDEO GRAB** New Delhi: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Rajya Sabha, during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (RSTV/PTI Photo) (PTI03_24_2021_000097A) (PTI)

Replying to a debate on Finance Bill 2021 in the Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman cited low inflation, higher GDP growth, record foreign investment and lower fiscal deficit to defend her government's handling of the economy

NEW DELHI : 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% as against 6.7% during 2009 to 2014 under UPA.

Similarly, consumer price inflation was 10.3% under five years of UPA rule, while during 2014-19 it was 4.8%.

Fiscal deficit too has been contained at 3.65% of the GDP during 2014-19 as compared to 5.3% in the previous five years, she said, adding current account deficit has also improved from (-)3.34% to (-)1.43%.

Foreign exchange reserves have grown from $303 billion in 2014 to $411.9 billion, she said, adding NPAs or bad debt declined to 8.99 lakh crore as of March 2020.

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