New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced a slew of measures to revive the country’s ailing economy.

This was the third press conference addressed by her over the current slowdown of the country’s economy. Earlier, she had addressed the media on August 23 and 30.

Among other things, the Finance Minister on Saturday announced steps to boost the housing sector, the highlight of which was the announcement of a Rs 10,000 crore special window to provide last-mile funding for the completion of housing projects which are not Non-performing assets (NPAs) or not facing proceedings under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

The last-mile funding will be for projects which are deemed as net worth positive in the affordable and middle-income category.

Further, the government will relax the external commercial borrowing (ECB) to facilitate the financing of home buyers eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The new measures, however, will be in addition to the existing ones under the ECB for affordable housing.

The Finance Minister also announced the lowering of House Building Advance (HBA) to encourage more government servants to buy new houses.

 

The country is currently in the grip of economic slowdown which has seen its GDP fall to a five-year low of 5% in the first quarter of 2019-20. The auto sector, too, has seen the cumulative domestic sales for the period April-August 2019 plunge 15.89%.

The Finance Minister recently received widespread criticism for attributing the auto sector to slowdown to ‘millenials preferring to use Ola and Uber.’