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Modi faces tougher challenge as India's economy slows to 5-year low

GDP growth of 6.8% comes as prime minister begins second term

Prime Minister Narendra Modi scatters rose petals at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial before his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Thursday. Arresting the slowdown and reviving the economy will be Modi’s main challenge in his second term.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India's economic growth rate slowed to a five-year low, the government said on Friday, putting pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second term to quickly deliver on promised reforms for which he won a strong voter mandate in recent elections.

The report came hours after Modi named former Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the country's new finance minister. Sitharaman now faces the tough tasks of steering the economy through crises in the financial and agriculture sectors and helping to revive private investment.

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