Stimulus package will be announced at the right time: Sitharaman

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on August 16, 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman   -  PTI

Discussion going on with PMO; no relief for gems and jewellery sector

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday stated that discussions on a possible stimulus package for industry are going on at the highest level and an announcement will come at a right time.

Referring to a number of industries and sectors grappling with a slowdown in demand and dwindling sales, Sitharaman stated that a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken place on Thursday. “...we shall meet again. It is not the right time to talk about the road-map or packages. Discussions are on with the Prime Minister’s Office and in the government. Details will be announced at the right time,” she told mediapersons in Ahmedabad.

She, however, refused to say whether the government had already prepared a roadmap to boost economy nor did she give any timeline for the expected stimulus package.

The Finance Minister had earlier met several industry groups, associations and business leaders from various sectors including auto, banking, telecom to get a sense of the key issues plaguing them.

She declined any possibility of relief to gems and jewellery sector amid higher import duty — a demand placed by the sector after the hike in the duty. “We do not produce that in the country. When we buy product not available in the country and spend so much of foreign exchange, do we need to subsidise it?” Sitharaman said.

The Finance Minister addressed a joint session with the officers and officials of the Income Tax department and Central Goods and Service Tax, Central Excise and Customs departments in Gujarat. This was the first in a series of meetings to be held in Metros and Tier-2 cities.

Sitharaman also released a second edition of ‘A Step Ahead’ — a handbook of Income Tax department and inaugurated the pan-Gujarat online portal of the income-tax free legal aide cell. She also released a handbook on the MSME sector and GST flyers prepared by the CGST department.

Published on August 16, 2019

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