This Article is From Nov 27, 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: Growth Down, But There Won't Be Any Recession

Many economists and credit ratings agencies have lowered their growth projections for the year ending March 2020.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman compared the FDI figures during the NDA and UPA regimes

Highlights

  • Government dismisses Opposition's charge of economic recession
  • There's no recession, there will be no recession, says Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Government will release GDP data for Q2 on Friday evening
Acknowledging the economic slowdown, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday defended the state of the economy and dismissed concerns of a recession. "If you are looking at the economy with a discerning view you see that growth may have come down, but its not recession yet or it won't be recession ever," said Nirmala Sitharaman, responding to the debate in Rajya Sabha on the issue of slowing economic growth and Opposition's charge that the economy was in a state of recession. "I will put on record every step being taken," she said. Her remarks come days ahead of the release of official gross domestic product (GDP) numbers for the July-September period.

Here are 10 things to know:

  1. She also said PM Narendra Modi government recognised stress in the banking sector and took steps to address banking sector problems. The government has in the past emphasized on the importance of restoring the health of the country's financial sector to achieve its goal of making India a $5 trillion economy.

  2. The Finance Minister also compared the foreign direct investment (FDI) figures during the NDA and previous UPA administration. FDI inflows have improved to $283.9 billion in 2019, from $189.5 billion in 2009-2014, she said.

  3. India's economy is struggling against slowing pace of expansion and thousands of job losses amid stress across sectors. For the first quarter of current financial year, GDP growth came in at a more than six-year low of 5 per cent.

  4. The government has in the recent past announced a range of measures, including withdrawal of higher taxes on foreign investors - as announced in Budget, and a cut in corporate taxes, to spur demand and revive growth. 

  5. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has so far this year reduced the repo rate - which is the key interest rate at which it lends short-term funds to commercial banks - by 1.35 percentage point to 5.15 per cent. 

  6. The government is due to release data on gross domestic product (GDP) on Friday evening. Many economists and financial institutions have lowered their growth projections for the year ending March 2020.

  7. State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, expects GDP expansion to further decrease to 4.2 per cent in the July-September period.

  8. SBI has cited low automobile sales, deceleration in air traffic movements, flattening of core sector growth and declining investment in construction and infrastructure for its projection. That brings down its overall growth forecast for financial year 2019-20 to 5 per cent from 6.1 per cent.

  9. Moody's this month lowered its estimate of economic growth for India to 5.6 per cent, saying GDP slowdown in the country is lasting longer than previously expected. It had earlier changed its outlook on India's ratings to "negative" from "stable".

  10. Nomura Holdings and Capital Economics have also lowered their growth forecasts for the September quarter to between 4.2 per cent and 4.7 per cent.  A growth rate of 4.2 per cent, at the lower end of the band, would mark the lowest since the authorities adopted a new base year for the data in 2012. 



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