Economy

Task force ‘to speed up spending on infrastructure’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 10, 2019 Published on September 10, 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the media on Furthering India's Development - 100 Days of Bold Initiative and Decisive Actions, in Chennai, on Tuesday. - Photo: M. Vedhan

Finance Minister says govt in touch with auto sector to resolve their issues

The government has set up a task force to speed up infrastructure spending and to identify projects where the budgetary allocation for the infrastructure can be front loaded, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday. 

She was addressing the media at an event, ‘100 days of bold initiatives & decisive actions’, to mark the 100 days of NDA-2 government.

Read also: Is the slowdown cyclical or structural?

“We have earmarked ₹100-lakh crore for infrastructure and I think we should speed up spending on various infrastructure projects and the task force has already begun to identify projects viable for investment,” Sitharaman said. 

“Today the economy needs money and it can come through increased consumption because of government spending and that can be best spent through infrastructure,” she added. 

On the auto sector slowdown, Sitharaman said that the government is in touch with the industry players and constantly working to resolve their issues. 

“The automobile sector had an upward trajectory 1.5-2 years ago,” she said, adding that the sector has been affected by the transition to Bharat Stage VI emission norms, higher registration fee and change in people’s mindset from owning a car to choosing other mobility options like Ola, Uber and the Metro.

Growth measures

On GDP growth, she said, “It’s not that the government is not responding with measures to boost GDP. Our full focus is now on how GDP can rise in the next quarter.” 

Reacting to questions on job losses across industries, Sitharaman said, “All of us are constantly interacting with various economic sectors not just in Delhi but from across the country.”

She listed out PSU bank mergers, GST reduction on electric vehicles (EVs) and India’s improvement in global ease of doing business index as some of the achievements of the current government. 

“The effective date of bank mergers will be decided by the boards of respective banks,” the Finance Minister said. 

Other achievements

She said the criminalisation of Triple Talaq and amendments to POSCO Act are also some of the achievements the current government.

Noting that the abrogation of Article 370 was one of the greatest achievements, Sitharaman said the Constitution’s affirmative action to SC/ST community and women’s reservation under the Seventy-third and seventy-fourth amendments to the Constitution were not available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir due to Article 370. 

 

Published on September 10, 2019
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