Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for concerted action among the G20 industrial nations as well as another wave of reforms to reverse the ongoing global economic slowdown, the government said in a statement on Friday.
Speaking at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington, Sitharaman “emphasized the importance of countries pursuing structural reform measures to counter the growth slowdown”, in a subtle indication the government may be willing to undertake further reforms, as a consumption-led growth deceleration deepened.
She pitched the recent decision to cut the standard corporate tax rate sharply to 22 per cent from 30 per cent as a great structural reform, asserting that the move made the country one of the lowest tax-imposing nations that would help spur investment.
Separately, talking to Indian reporters, the minister said trade differences between India and the US had been narrowing and hoped for a deal soon. “I know the intensity with which the negotiations are going on and a few issues on which they could be some differences are being sorted out. I hope there will be an agreement sooner,” she said.
Reinforcing fears of a protracted growth slowdown, the International Monetary Fund recently cut its India growth forecast to just 6.1 per cent for 2019-20 from 7 per cent predicted earlier.