Industry

Dip and rise in GDP part of growth, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the media on ‘Furthering India's Development - 100 Days of Bold Initiative and Decisive Actions’, in Chennai on September 10, 2019.

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman addresses the media on ‘Furthering India's Development - 100 Days of Bold Initiative and Decisive Actions’, in Chennai on September 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

Addressing an event on ‘Furthering India’s Development — 100 days of Bold Initiatives & Decisive Actions’ of the Centre, Nirmala Sitharaman said there have been instances in the past when the GDP has dipped too.

Amid concerns about the country’s dipping Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of FY20, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday that the dip and rise in GDP was part and parcel of growth and that the government was acting to boost the economy.

“About GDP growth rate reaching 5% in one quarter, I don’t want to negate or compare it with anything else earlier. But, it is useful for us to remember that such dips and rise in GDP growth do happen. I’m not underestimating it and we are not sitting without responding to do something to boost it,” Ms. Sitharaman told reporters.

Addressing an event on ‘Furthering India’s Development — 100 days of Bold Initiatives & Decisive Actions’ of the Centre, she said there have been instances in the past when the GDP has dipped too.

“It is part of the growth [story]. That sometimes it dips within a quarter and rises again. Our attempts now and our full focus now is to see how we can raise it,” she said.

 

To a query on the financial experts’ criticism of the Union government for receiving payouts to the tune of ₹1.76 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India, she said the government had also acted on the advice of a committee of experts.

As for the growing distress in the automobile sector, she said her Ministry was continuously engaging in talks with the industry to see how best it could help it.

Though there has been demand for a cut in GST rates in the automobile sector, she said only the GST Council can take a decision.

To a question, she said the date of bank mergers would be decided by the boards of the respective banks.

She said she has appointed a task force to identify various infrastructure projects where the government could pump in funds to boost consumption.

The Centre would spend funds up to ₹1 lakh crore for infrastructure in the next five years.

Ms. Sitharaman made a presentation on the BJP government’s performance during the first 100 days of its second term.

She said the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was a “major path-breaking achievement.” The removal of the temporary provision has led to various schemes and policies of the government reaching the northern Union territory (earlier State).

The statements made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have been helping the cause of Pakistan and not India in various issues concerning national security, Ms. Sitharaman said, when asked about the neighbouring country quoting Mr. Gandhi at the UNHRC.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 11:59:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/task-force-in-process-to-identify-infra-projects-says-finance-minister-nirmala-sitharaman/article29383754.ece

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