More measures to boost economy as and when required, says FM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 13, 2019

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday   -  Kamal Narang

In what seemed to be giving words of reassurance for the economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured that the government will intervene as and when required.

Addressing the media on Friday, Sitharaman, however, refused to say when the economy will turn around.

“I am not willing to discuss as to where the economy stands. I am interested in working towards improving things,” she said when asked about present state of the economy with various economic indicators showing stress.

“I am working (on economic issues) wherever it is needed,” she said while refusing to comment on whether the economy was heading towards a ‘stagflation (a situation when growth is down and inflation is up so as unemployment)’.

Sitharaman with her team of Secretaries and Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian presented the impact of various measures taken to boost the economy. When asked about the possibility of a GST rate hike, she said, “The buzz is everywhere except in my office. I have had no conversations on the GST Council meeting with my team yet.”

On tax collection, Revenue Secretary Ajay B Pandey said that the government will get a fairly good estimate on the impact of corporate tax reduction on December 15, the last date of payment of advance tax. There is apprehension that tax collection might see shortfall of over ₹2.5 lakh crore.

Presenting overall picture of the economy, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said that 66 per cent of budgeted capex of ₹3.38 lakh crore has already been undertaken. More than 8 lakh repo-linked loans amounting to ₹70,000 crore sanctioned till November 27. Evidence of measures to boost investment is actually seen in the record FDI inflows as India attracted $ 35 billion in the first half of 2019-20 as against $31 billion during the same period last year.

Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas clarified that the proposed provisions of Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill will not be retrospective.

Published on December 13, 2019

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