Indian finance minister sees capital spending fueling growth

  • Speaking ahead of February annual budget
  • Health and education also a focus
  • FinMin comfortble with ForEx reserves
  • Sees rupee stabilising without much intervention

NEW DELHI, Nov 30 (Reuters) – India plans to sustain its high growth rate through more government capital spending but will also focus on health and education next year, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told  the Reuters NEXT conference on Wednesday.

Sitharaman was speaking amid consultations for the next budget, which is expected to be announced on Feb. 1. It will be the last full budget before national elections in 2024.

“We would continue to push capital expenditure, and that I’m saying even as I’m preparing for the next budget,” Sitharaman said. “We are well on course on meeting this year’s target. The states have shown extraordinary absorption capacity for taking the monies and spending on capital assets.”

The government sees the “capital expenditure route as one of those which can guarantee good growth,” she said.

India has budgeted capital spending of 7.5 trillion rupees ($92.28 billion) for the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31.

Sitharaman said that she looked forward to “a very good … growing Indian economy this year and the next”. She was speaking ahead of the publication of July-September growth data, which showed the economy growing 6.3% on an annual basis.

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