Dispelling any apprehensions about the state of the Indian economy, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday said the growth may have slowed down but there is no threat of a recession. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha today, the finance minister said, “Economic growth may have slowed but there is no recession, there can be no recession.”
Comparing the country’s economic situation in the five years under Congress-led UPA-II regime from 2009 to 2014 and BJP’s first term from 2014 to 2019, the finance minister said that inflation was lower and growth higher under the Modi government.
Sitharaman said steps taken by the government after her maiden budget have started bearing fruits and some sectors such as automobiles have shown signs of recovery.
Referring to concerns on the revenue position of the government, the finance minister said direct tax and GST collections both have seen an increase in the first seven months of the current fiscal when compared to the same period last year.
“FDI inflows in 2009-14 were USD 189.5 billion and under the BJP’s rule in the following five years, they were USD 283.9 billion,” Sitharaman said in Rajya Sabha, adding that foreign exchange reserves increased to USD 412.6 billion under the BJP government from USD 304.2 billion in UPA-II regime.
Just as she made these statements, the Congress staged a walkout over her reply.
Opposition parties also attacked the BJP government and said that the country is heading towards a deep crisis and people do not have money to even buy day-to-day articles.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma countered the government’s claim and said that the current situation is only a cyclical phenomenon, adding that the gap between the rich and poor has widened in the country in the past few years and wrong decisions of the government like demonetisation and hasty implementation of GST have led to the present slowdown.
Sharma said that all four engines of economic activity – investments, industrial production, credit offtake, and exports – were shutting down. He further said that the rural economy was in shambles.
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