Economy not in trouble, green shoots visible: Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday the economy is not in trouble and green shoots are visible with the country moving towards a USD 5 trillion economy.

Listing initiatives taken by the government, Sitharaman said, increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), rise in factory output and over Rs 1 lakh crore GST collections in the past three months are indications of green shoots in the economy.

“There are seven important indicators which show that there are green shoots in the economy… economy is not in trouble,” Sitharaman said while replying to a debate on the Union Budget in Lok Sabha.

Referring to visible indicators of green shoots, the finance minister said the forex reserve is at an all time high and the stock market is upbeat.

“Global sentiment is in favour of India. Foreign investors continue to show confidence in India and that is why the country has attracted a net FDI of USD 24.4 billion in April-November 2019-20 as against USD 21.2 billion in the same period the previous year,” informed Sitharaman.

Sitharaman also said the gross GST (Goods and Services Tax) revenue collected in January 2020 grew at 12 per cent while in November 2019, it was six per cent.

“So there is a steady growth and therefore negative growth, which it showed in September and October, has been corrected and we are on a positive growth trajectory and this will obviously bring in greater and newer investments to the economy and it will also reduce the business cost,” asserted Sitharaman.

The finance minister also pointed out that the government’s focus is on four engines of growth which include private investment, private consumption, public investment and exports.

With regard to public investment, she said, the government in December announced a national infrastructure pipeline. It envisages investment of Rs 103 lakh crore for infrastructure development across the country in the next four years (till 2024-25), she said.

The minister also took a dig at Congress leader P Chidambaram while referring to the fiscal deficit numbers during the UPA regime. The fiscal deficit was higher ‘when the economy was managed by competent doctors’, she quipped.

Chidambaram had said Monday in the Rajya Sabha that the ‘economy was perilously close to collapse and was being attended by incompetent doctors’.

PTI

 

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