Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, taking a dig at the Centre, said that an attack on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its chief economist Gita Gopinath by government ministers was imminent as the organisation has slashed India’s growth rate to 4.8 per cent for the current fiscal year which was expected to rise to 5.8 per cent in 2020.

In a series of tweets, the former finance minister said that IMF has given a reality check on India’s growth rate.

He further said that even the 4.8 per cent is after some window-dressing while adding that he will not be surprised if the projection goes even lower.

Chidambaram said that since IMF’s Gita Gopinath was among the first to denounce demonetisation, an attack on the body and the economist by the government was imminent.

The IMF has attributed the slash in growth rate to the slowdown in demand in the domestic market and stress in the non-banking financial sector.

“India’s growth is estimated at 4.8 per cent in 2019, projected to improve to 5.8 per cent in 2020 and 6.5 per cent in 2021,” said IMF in a statement.

The 5.8 per cent estimate in 2020 is down by 0.9 per cent from the previous estimate.

The steep cut in India’s growth rate has affected the IMF’s projection on the world economy, which is now expected to expand 2.9 per cent in 2019 as compared with the previous forecast at 3.0 per cent.

In its World Economic Outlook Report, IMF stated that the growth markdown largely reflects a downward revision to India’s projection, where domestic demand has slowed more sharply than expected.

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath has given two reasons for the sharp cuts – one is stress in the non-banking financial sector and the other is weak rural income.

Earlier in December, Gopinath had estimated a likely cut-down in India’s growth estimate during the January review.