Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has sought to ease worries over the economic slowdown with a promise that the government will not betray the massive mandate it got in the national election.
"Any government that gets such a huge mandate will naturally work hard on everything. Why won't we work to solve this problem (economic slump)?" said Mr Paswan, whose Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
"We have said that the kind of slowdown the whole world is facing right now was also experienced during (former Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh's time under the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government," said the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister.
"We will definitely come out of this problem," he added.
A cataclysmic crisis in the housing market in the US that started in late 2007 and peaked in 2009 created a domino effect that hurt economies across the world and led to a severe recession. Too big to fail financial institutions in the US went belly up. Companies across the world, including in India, in a bid to cut cost and falling demand eventually led to mass layoffs. The UPA government was in power at that time.
In data released last month, the centre said India's economy expanded at its slowest pace in over six years. Growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 5 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal (2019-20), compared with 5.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 8.0 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.
The automobile sector that drives the manufacturing sector has been hit by several storms, from credit freeze for customers to falling demand. Many car-makers have temporarily stopped production and some have cut jobs.
Adding to the debate on the slowdown was Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's comments on Tuesday that millennials' preference for Uber and Ola cabs over committing money to EMIs for new cars had affected the auto sector. The comments were widely criticised on social media.
"Automobile sector, in particular, has been affected by several things. These include BS6 (Bharat Stage 6) movement, the registration fee issue that has been deferred till June and the mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit EMIs to buying automobiles but prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro," Ms Sitharaman said.
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