Economy not in trouble; green shoots visible, argues Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Pointing out that economy is not in trouble, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday (February 11) said green shoot are visible with the country moving towards a USD 5 trillion economy.

Listing initiatives taken by the government, she said, increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), rise in factory output and over ₹1 lakh crore GST collection in the past three months are indications of green shoots in the economy.

In a reply to a debate on the Union Budget 20-21 in Lok Sabha, she said, “There are seven important indicators which show that there are green shoots in the economy… economy is not in trouble.”

Referring to visible indicators of green shoots, the Finance Minister said the forex reserve is at an all time high and the stock market is upbeat. She said the governments focus is on four engines of growth which include private investment, exports, private and public consumption.

With regard to public investment, she said, the government in December announced a National Infrastructure Pipeline. It envisages investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore for infrastructure development across the country in the next four years (till 2024-25), she said.

To boost consumption, the government has increased the Minimum Support Price of all mandated Rabi and Kharif crops for 2019-20. She further said the fiscal deficit was higher during the UPA regime “when the economy was managed by competent doctors”.

The minister was referring to remarks of Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday that the “economy was perilously close to collapse and was being attended by incompetent doctors.”

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